Food and nutrition security in Tanganyika Province
Title: Food and nutrition security in Tanganyika Province
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lead executing agency: Ministère du Développement Rural (MDR)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is currently unable to adequately perform public organisation, planning and management duties. Coupled with endemic widespread corruption, this prevents the state from providing the population with basic services and ensuring their security. Social and production infrastructure has been largely destroyed by war or is no longer functional after years of neglect. The public health and education system is highly deficient. In rural areas, few families have access to safe drinking water. State support for internally displaced persons and returnees is non-existent, while humanitarian organisations provide assistance for only a limited period.
At present, vulnerable households in the project region are barely or not sufficiently able to make use of the favourable natural and climate conditions for farming. Inadequate agricultural inputs, leached soil and a lack of knowledge lead to low production levels. The situation is exacerbated by high post-harvest losses and the absence of downstream processing and marketing opportunities. Poor yields and acute food and nutrition insecurity for many households are the consequences.
Food and nutrition security has improved for the population in selected areas of Kalemie and Moba in Tanganjika Province.
The project supports households to ensure that they have a variety of food in sufficient quantities throughout the year and that they make appropriate use thereof. It sets out to enhance the four dimensions of food and nutrition security:
- Availability. The measures aim to increase yields and broaden the range of food available.
- Access. Access to food is improved through income generating activities and the provision of market infrastructure and information with a view to the sale of production surpluses.
- Utilisation. Households are made aware of the importance of a healthy diet and appropriate food preparation in order to improve use of foodstuffs to achieve balanced nutrition. These activities are geared towards both men and women.
- Stability. The resilience of vulnerable households and communities to external shocks, notably to those caused by crop failures, is strengthened in selected areas.
Gender sensitivity and measures that prevent and defuse conflicts play a key role from the outset in order to improve food and nutrition security in the long term. The project bases its work on an analysis of local tensions and their root causes. Activities are planned with a view to avoiding results that could intensify conflict, while building on existing approaches for greater social cohesion.
A balanced combination of project partners that transcends group boundaries is the key strategy to avoiding and defusing conflicts in this unstable, crisis-prone region. Issues concerning drinking water access, distribution and quality also play an important role in addressing conflict and food security.
The special needs of women are taken into account, and discrimination against women is combated. This work includes measures to promote functional literacy and the processing and commercialisation of food. It also seeks to raise awareness for changes in behaviour, for instance with respect to cultural norms and taboos in the use and distribution of food in homes. One example is the widespread custom of men always eating first so women tend to get less to eat.