DARE : Developing Affordable and innovative food Resources to increase quality of nutritious foods for young children, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women in Ethiopia

Project identifier 225-DARE
Project Status ongoing
Start date 2020-01-01
End date 2023-12-31
Roadmap Theme
  • Agriculture and food systems for nutrition: Improved food value chains
  • Agriculture and food systems for nutrition: PPP on improved nutritional quality
  • Type of Project Development and innovation oriented (research) project
    Programme DeSIRA
    Keyword diet diversity; macro and micronutrient intakes
    Location Ethiopia
    Budget 2 000 000
    Main Funder Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO)
    Co Funder United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
    Co Funder Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
    Coordinator United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
  • Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA)
  • Documents Project description


    Objectives of the project

    This project will develop local, accessible and affordable food solutions for pregnant women and young children to increase diet diversity through financially viable private sector collaboration and to reduce reliance on public funding.


    Ethiopian diets are monotonous and predominantly cereal-based, with very low or no consumption of fruits, vegetables or animalsourced foods. Diets that are low in diversity have been associated with poor child growth, contributing to high rates of stunting (38.5%) among children under 5 years of age. It also leads to high prevalence of pregnant women with low MiddleUpper-Arm Circumference which can lean to low birth weight of a child. A key cause is the unavailability or unaffordability of nutritious foods for most households. Nutrient-dense foods are subject to high loss and waste, given their perishability, meaning they often do not reach the rural markets. Where they do, costs are too high for most households. Given the low purchasing power and low margins, there is insufficient incentive for the private sector producers in to innovate for these markets. The Ethiopian government is committed through several key strategies to leverage food systems to combat malnutrition, focusing largely on mothers, children 0-24 months and adolescent girls. Through different policies and strategies, they have strongly expressed the need for innovative research and capacity building to help implement, learn and support food systems approaches to improve diets.

    Main activities

    The project will determine and test the commercial feasibility, and nutritional potential of the different prototypes developed. The main activities will be

    i) Surveys such as production testing in collaboration with small and medium national business, acceptability studies to understand the reaction of the developed product among the Ethiopian population and especially pregnant, lactating mothers and children caregivers, and calculation of market costs;

    ii) laboratory shelf life testing

    iii) Test and development of several production lines in collaboration with national business;

    iv) Seminars to engage the private sector;

    v) Test and develop the social protection-facilitated route to market (samples into national safety programs).