A Community Resource Persons’ Training Guide: Improving Food and Nutrition Security through Banana-based Farming Systems and Foods

Scripta Horticulturae 19
Publication date: 
March, 2017
Page count: 
€ 30 not including shipping & handling, 20% discount for ISHS members

This Training Guide is intended to build capacity of community-level resource persons to transfer knowledge on basic concepts regarding nutrition, appropriate dietary patterns and the use of existing farming systems for better household nutrition, especially for communities dependent on bananas. In referring to this manual, the community resource persons will be able to draft action plans to transfer the information gained to community members. The expected impact is that enhanced knowledge on the links between agriculture, nutrition and health, formation and/or upgrading of existing home gardens into comprehensive gardens as well as proper dietary and health practices will eventually lead to enhanced nutrition and health status.

The production of this guide was an integral part of a collaborative project between Bioversity International and the HarvestPlus Challenge program, under a research project titled 'Addressing micronutrient deficiencies through Musa-Based foods in Sub-Saharan Africa. This Guide is designed for use by agriculturalists/agronomists, home economists, nutritionists and health workers in strengthening capacities of community own resource persons (CORPs). CORPs include: model farmers; community extension workers; community health workers; community leaders; women and youth representatives, and church leaders among others. The overall output is enhancing the nutrition and health status of community members through proper dietary practices and sustainable agricultural practices with special focus on communities within banana-based farming systems.

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The information in this manual was selected following gaps identified at community level through focus group discussions and household surveys. The guide first describes what food security implies, it then goes on to give basic concepts on nutrition, i.e., types of nutrients, role in the body and local sources. The Guide goes ahead to describe how to make balanced family meals using locally available resources. The guide gives details on management of banana farms, post-harvest handling of the bananas and appropriate processing and cooking/combination methods that will enhance nutrient quality and promote better health. Last but not least, information on food safety and hygiene is also given.

This Training Guide has been designed to build the capacity of community-level resource persons so that they can transfer basic knowledge regarding nutrition, appropriate dietary patterns and use of existing farming systems for better household nutrition, especially focus on banana dependent communities.

The guide has six main sections:

  1. Principles of Food security
  2. Nutrition basics and dietary combinations
  3. Management of banana plantations and soybean farms
  4. Harvest and storage techniques
  5. Appropriate processing/cooking methodologies
  6. Food safety and hygiene

Each section includes a time allocation, a pre-test, an overview of the learning objectives, materials needed, notes and facilitator fact sheets pertaining to the section. Also contained is an activity that generates discussion and helps in recapping information while focusing on the key learning objectives.

Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization that envisions agricultural biodiversity nourishing people and sustaining the planet. We deliver scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity to attain sustainable global food and nutrition security. We work with partners in low-income countries in different regions where agricultural and tree biodiversity can contribute to improved nutrition, resilience, productivity and climate change adaptation.

Bioversity International is a CGIAR Research Centre. CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 Research Centers in close collaboration with hundreds of partners across the globe.

HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals, and providing global leadership on biofortification evidence and technology.

The CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), helps realize the potential of agricultural development to deliver gender-equitable health and nutritional benefits to the poor.

The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), led the International Potato Centre (CIP), is a broad alliance of research-for-development stakeholders and partners. Our shared purpose is to tap the underutilized potential of root, tuber, and banana crops for improving nutrition and food security, increasing incomes and fostering greater gender equity – especially amongst the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations.

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