A food-system approach to addressing food security and chronic child malnutrition in northern Vietnam
Keywords:Purchasing Behavior, Food Security, Food-System approach, Local Food Supply, Malnutrition, Marketing and Distribution, Nutrition Education, Public Private Partnerships, Sustainability, Vietnam
Despite recent improvements in health, Vietnam continues to face significant problems with food security and chronic malnutrition among children. In the Northern Mountainous Region, small-scale farmers and ethnic minority groups are particularly hit hard. Anemia is present in almost half the local population of children under two, and close to 20% of children experience stunted growth. Anemia and stunting can cause irreversible deficiencies in learning and child development. Fortification of food products that are complementary to breast milk has been identified as an option to intervene and tackle chronic child malnutrition, particularly in situations requiring rapid results. Our paper describes how the ECOSUN project addressed food security and chronic child malnutrition in northern Vietnam (Lào Cai, Lai Châu, and Hà Giang provinces) using a food-system approach to design and implement a viable and sustainable value chain for fortified complementary foods. Through public-private partnerships, the project procured locally grown crops from small-scale women farmers to produce affordable fortified complementary food products in a small-scale food processing plant. Social marketing campaigns and nutrition education counseling centers supported product distribution through local vendors while emphasizing and promoting the value of fortified foods for healthy child development. The ECOSUN project also aimed to contribute to the broader goal of transforming the local economy. The process, lessons, challenges, successes, and methods employed to assess and test the delivery mechanisms of the project can offer insights to researchers, program implementers, and decision-makers involved in research-integrated development projects embedded in local socio-ecological systems.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Cecilia Rocha, Melody Mendonça, Nguyen Do Huy, Huỳnh Nam Phương, Do Thi Bao Hoa, Fiona Yeudall, Andrea Moraes, Matthew Ryan Brown, Yvonne V. Yuan, Thomas Tenkate
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The copyright to all content published in JAFSCD belongs to the author(s). It is licensed as CC BY 4.0. This license determines how you may reprint, copy, distribute, or otherwise share JAFSCD content.