NewsEast & Horn AfricaEthiopia: Fortified wheat to fight malnutrition


Posted on Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:02

Ethiopia: Fortified wheat to fight malnutrition

By Tinishu Solomon

Photo©ReutersAn Ethiopian company will start producing fortified wheat flours, becoming the first firm to do so in East Africa, to battle malnutrition.

An estimated 40 percent of children under the age of five suffer from stunted growth.

According to the 2014 Mini-Demographic and Health Survey, the majority of these children were poorly fed.

This is an extremely significant development that addresses nutrition challenges in Ethiopia

On Wednesday, Partners in Food Solutions and TechnoServe, the ASTCO Food Complex in partnership the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new range of fortified wheat flours to address the crisis.

USAID said the fortified flour with minerals and vitamins will result in improved health for Ethiopians.

"This is an extremely significant development that addresses nutrition challenges in Ethiopia, where under nutrition accounts for 45 percent of all child deaths," said United States deputy chief of mission Peter Vrooman.

"We expect the new products processed and packaged by ASTCO and other flour millers and processors to set a trend in micronutrient food fortification."

The public-private partnership, known as the African Alliance for Improved Food Processing (AAIFP), provides customised technical assistance to 20 medium and large-scale wheat processors as well as industry wide training to more than 165 food processors in Ethiopia.

The knowledge and experience is remotely transferred from employees of world-class companies—General Mills, Cargill, Royal DSM and Buhler to increase the quality and competitiveness of Ethiopia's food processing sector and expand the availability of affordable wheat based nutritious food.

AAIFP in Ethiopia is supported by USAID through the United Stats government's $250 million Feed the Future Initiative, whose dual objectives are to improve agriculture productivity and the nutritional status of women and children in Ethiopia.

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