In Vietnam and Thailand the most food-insecure and unhealthy people farm and live in the rural highlands. The environment for farming is difficult, with poor soils on steep terrain, remote locations far from markets, government services and health care, and high levels of poverty. However, the area also has many assets – the people have many generations of farming experience, and there are farming practices that can be studied, improved upon, and shared.
The goal of this project was to identify local and practical solutions to improve nutrition and food security of the smallholder farmers using “nutrition-sensitive agriculture solutions” (NSAS). NSAS means that we focus not only on the production of more food, but also the nutritional quality of the food, and what the farmers do with the food. To improve their health, farming families need to eat high-quality foods, and not send all their best foods to the market. We studied their farming practices and diets, and conducted analyses that allowed us to develop and test affordable and sustainable nutrition-sensitive agriculture practices that improve the nutrition and food security of participating households.
Watch a TV news report on how project activities affected local households. (subtitled in English)