Nutrition Project Provides Pathway for Local Leadership Development in Uganda

A newly awarded nutrition project to improve the lives of undernourished Ugandans will also provide a pathway for building and sustaining local leadership in food production. The Production for Improved Nutrition (PIN) project, a five-year project to reduce under-nutrition in the north-central and southwestern regions of Uganda, is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and managed by RECO Industries, a Ugandan company. URC will support RECO by providing technical assistance as well as administrative and managerial support.

The PIN project will strengthen RECO's capacity to become a sustainable manufacturer and distributor of therapeutic and supplementary foods. Ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF) are peanut-based, nutrient-rich, high-energy supplemental foods that are often part of malnutrition programs in developing countries. RECO's variety of therapeutic food, called RUTAFA, is made from locally sourced ingredients, including peanuts, sugarcane, milk, and seeds.

Evolving Roles

PIN builds on the work of the URC-managed Food and Nutrition Interventions (NuLife) project. Between 2008 and 2011, NuLife worked to support the Ugandan Ministry of Health and RECO to improve the nutritional and health status of HIV-positive adults, pregnant and lactating women, and orphaned and vulnerable children.

In 2010, USAID announced the launch of a new strategy, USAID Forward, to transform the way it implements its projects. The strategy's goal is to "make the Agency more effective by changing the way [it] partners with others, embracing a spirit of innovation and strengthening the results of [USAID's] work, saving money and reducing the need for U.S. assistance over time." USAID Forward emphasizes partnerships with local organizations, especially small businesses, to build local capacity and increase ownership at the country level.

PIN offered an opportunity for both URC and RECO to implement the USAID Forward strategy. RECO will manage the PIN project, with URC playing a supporting role. URC's contributions will include providing technical support to RECO and capacity strengthening for program management. Like the NuLife project, PIN's target populations include children, pregnant and lactating women, and people living with HIV/AIDS

Read more about our work in Food and Nutrition.

Sachet of locally produced ready-to-use therapeutic food funded through USAID and produced by RECO.
Sachet of locally produced ready-to-use therapeutic food funded through USAID and produced by RECO.
Date 
March 20, 2013
Authors 
Beatrice Scheuermann, URC Project Coordinator
Regions/ Countries