TETE, MOZAMBIQUE– The Governor of the western Mozambican province of Tete, Paulo Auade, has lauched the Linking Agriculture to Nutrition project, an initiative to reduce the high rate of chronic malnutrition in the province.

Auade said the government was concerned with the rate of malnutrition, which he regarded as making no sense in a province which is self-sufficient in agricultural production.

The results remain poor, since the reduction in malnutrition remains very slow. So we are urging our co-operation partners to adopt evidence-based participatory strategies, covering households that are vulnerable to malnutrition, especially those that are headed by women or by children, or in remote areas without access to health units,” he said.

He added that the statistics from the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Food Security show that Tete is self-sufficient in grains, and is one of the country’s major livestock producers.

Furthermore, per capita consumption of fisheries produce in Tete is near the ideal figure of 18 kilogrammes per person per year. Nevertheless, both acute and chronic malnutrition remain at levels much above those regarded as acceptable by the World Health Organization (WHO),” said Auade, who added that this had serious impacts on the human capital of the province.

The results of the Demographic and Health Survey of 2011 showed a rate of chronic malnutrition of 44.2 per cent. The figures from the family budget survey of 2014/15 showed this had only fallen by one per cent, to 43.2 per cent.

The same two surveys showed a barely significant fall in acute malnutrition among children in Tete from six per cent in 2011 to 5.7 per cent in 2014/15.