Addressing Issues of Malnutrition in Children through Public Nutrition using Local Resources of Agriculture and Land Use: Evidence from the Field Based Evaluation Study in Uttar Pradesh
Introduction: Public Nutrition refers to work in the interest of the public; with the participation of the public; and with all sectors involved in society, not just the health sector, nor mainly the health sector, though for the benefit of population health and nutrition. Action outside of the health sector, particularly with regard to food systems is required, such as capacitating women in agriculture and land use for increased vegetable production. Rationale: Adopting public health approach, an evidence from a field project wherein the evaluation study was conducted by Oxfam India (a leading non-profit organization), and where the authors coordinated and documented field evidence through conducting end line evaluation study is discussed in this paper, in order to highlight the achievement of women farmers in ensuring food and nutrition security by strengthening low cost vegetable production in Shaharanpur and Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh. Objective of the study: To assess the success and impact of measures adopted under the project in order to enhance the capacity and skills of women vegetable farmers in sustainable farming practices. Materials and Methods: Purposive Non Probability Sampling adopted to include key set of stakeholders, which includes 100 women vegetable farmers, 8 NGO and 5 government officials respectively drawn from Shahjahanpur and Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh. The methods which were used to gather quantitative and qualitative data for the study were: In-depth Interview, Focused Group Discussion (FGD), Case Studies. Results: Child nutrition is positively and independently associated with increased vegetable production through agriculture and land use by women in the villages. It enhanced the nutritional status of women and improved the health status of their family members as well. Conclusion: The public nutrition approach will make it possible to increase the impact of current initiatives which aim to reverse the course of the major nutrition problems, but, above all, and on a more positive note, to promote nutritional security and health. It is by consolidating this approach that in the medium term and in the local context, the emergence of a string of measures such as the evaluated project can be envisioned.