Improving community food security and nutrition

16 January 2015

Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR) submitted in November 2014 the report on the first year of its women-led community food security and nutrition project. The project aims to achieve year-round food and nutrition security for 378 households of the Dibate District, Benishangul Gumuz Region, in Ethiopia. The first year of the project included securing support from the local government, conducting a participatory baseline exercise and introducing the Farmer Field School (FFS) approach.

Key accomplishments during the year were:

  • Eight FFS groups (consisting of 176 farmers, of whom 128 are women) established and engaging in crop, vegetable and livestock production.
  •  An average 48% increase in production levels amongst crop-producing FFS groups.
  • Two types of multipurpose tree seedlings planted (with an 85% survival rate) by over 50% of the FFS participants.
  • A 25% increase in income (in a single harvest) for the 36 female members of the three FFS groups participating in vegetable production.
  • An increase from 5% to 8.9% of households which reported washing their hands at critical times.


Over the next year, CPAR will build on and strengthen the achievements made to date. Agricultural activities will include the provision of training on post-harvest management practices and technologies, as well as the introduction and advantages of collective marketing strategies. The reinvestment of profits made will be encouraged in order to build sufficient livelihood assets to sustain food security and household income. The promotion of improved food preparation and hygiene and sanitation will also be reinforced.