Residents of Mwizi, Rugando and Ndeija sub-counties in Mbarara District expect to benefit from good feeding competitions that have been initiated by a health promotion NGO.
Healthy Child Uganda, which started in 2013 as a nutritional project, targets children, under five years, and women, 18-49 years old, via growing of orange fleshed sweet potatoes and iron-enriched beans.
Having mobilised 225 Village Health Teams through training and providing sweet potatoes and beans, the NGO has organised good feeding competitions.
“The competitions have not only made a stride in improving hygiene but also increased food production as families strive to grow a variety of foods” says Innocent Nkwasibwe, chairperson, Kihangire village, Mwizi Sub county.
On his part, Edward Baryabuza, the chairperson, Ryamiyonga village, also in Mwizi, observes that following sensitisation, the residents embraced the crops. At least, every family started growing the potatoes and beans.
When the competitions were initiated, they were trained on what good feeding requires like eating a variety of foods. “Apart from the sweet potatoes and beans, you will find cassava, matooke, yams, Irish potatoes, green vegetables, groundnuts, pumpkins, maize, cabbages, tomatoes and fruits like oranges, avocado and pineapple,” says Baryabuza.
Paskazia Tumwesigye, model evaluation and communication officer, Healthy Child Uganda, adds that while the earlier initiative was to promote biofortified sweet potatoes and beans, they had to figure out other options to boost nutrition of children and women.
This is in their mandate and one of the available options was to introduce good feeding competitions. The first batch of winners were given prizes including basins, hoes, soap and lamps.