The ultimate outcome of NuME will be improved household food and nutritional security, especially for young children and women, through the adoption of Quality Protein Maize (QPM) with appropriate crop management practices that increase farm productivity.
Improved household food and nutritional security will be achieved through three intermediate outcomes that will result in the widespread and sustainable adoption, production and utilization of QPM hybrids and open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) adapted to drought-prone as well as moist mid-altitude and highland ecologies developed prior to the project as well as new ones emerging from the breeding program supported by NuME.
NuME’s intermediate outcomes are:
- Increased utilization of QPM seed (for planting) and grain (for consumption), particularly by vulnerable groups with emphasis on young children and women in maize producing areas.
- Increased QPM grain production in diverse agro-ecologies including drought-prone and highlands.
- Increased quantities of high-quality QPM breeders’ pre-basic, basic and certified seed available to female and male seed producers and farmers.
The immediate outcomes of the project, which address the specific constraints listed above, are:
- Increased demand by male and female farmers for QPM seed through greater awareness of QPM and its nutritional benefits.
- Enhanced knowledge and skills of women and men in targeted communities in preparation of traditional food and new food products using QPM.
- Superior, highly productive QPM hybrids and OPVs adapted to different agro-ecologies.
- Agronomic recommendations and best management practices for QPM varieties in different agro-ecologies.
- Strengthened institutional capacity of the public and private seed supply sector to produce and distribute high-quality QPM seed on a sustainable basis.
- Improved capacity of the regulatory system to assure quality of QPM seed and grain.
Major activities undertaken to deliver the above outcomes include:
Awareness creation and field demonstrations: The new QPM hybrids will be promoted using widespread side-by-side field plot demonstrations of current and QPM varieties – such as the original BH660 and its QPM equivalent, AMH760Q. Novel approaches such as recruitment of female-headed households (FHHs) and women’s groups are being used to involve women in the conduct of field demonstrations. Food technologists demonstrate the use of QPM in traditional food preparations while healthcare officers explain the nutritional benefits to participating male and female farmers. Combining agronomic and nutritional field day activities will facilitate participation of the opposite sex in activities that are traditionally the domain of the other (women in agronomic awareness; men in nutritional awareness).
QPM grain utilization: The project builds on the initiatives of the QPMD project to develop and test traditional food products using QPM. Food technologists are formulating recipes based on QPM for traditional and new dishes to confer tactile and sensory properties acceptable to consumers with conservative tastes.
Where poultry is a viable venture, especially for women, the use of QPM grain as a feed supplement will be illustrated at Farmers’ Training Centers (FTCs) or with FHHs by conducting simple feeding demonstrations comparing the effect of QPM and conventional maize on the growth of range-fed poultry.
QPM training materials: Gender-responsive training materials (bulletins and manuals, video packages in DVD format, etc.) targeting Development Agents, health extension officers and farmers of both sexes will be developed collaboratively with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI) and university scientists (breeders, agronomists, nutritionists and food technologists) and Agricultural Technical, Vocational and Educational Training (ATVET) faculty describing and explaining the developmental background and nutritional benefits.
Broadcast media campaign: Farm Radio International (FRI), a partner organization specializing in reaching rural audiences through effective use of radio, is broadcasting a participatory, gender-responsive and balanced radio intervention in partnership with appropriate Ethiopian radio broadcasters throughout the four target regions- Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and SNNPR. The programs are transmitted in the Amharic, Tigrigna and Oromiffa languages and topics and themes are developed using FRI’s highly successful participatory radio campaign (PRC) methodology. Female and male target communities are consulted in advance about listening habits and times, accessibility and availability of radio in their homes. They also help prioritize broadcast content based on their perceived respective community member’s needs.