Recently, the AGP2-CDSF SNNP Regional office, in collaboration with CANAG and RAGP CU, held a three day training session for participants nominated from the three CANAG woredas and 6 kebeles. The 25 participants were nearly 50% female and included 6 woreda experts, 10 kebele Development Agents (DA), 8 Health Extension workers and one regional CANAG expert.

CDSF and CANAG are working on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) activities in three SNNPR Woredas: Enemor, Bulle and Malga. CANAG takes on the field demonstration work and CDSF works on capacity development. The aim of this training was to raise awareness around the newly endorsed Harmonized NSA-DA manual prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Coordination Office (FENCO) and to enhance collaboration among woreda experts, kebele DAs and Health Extension workers. Wro Frehiwot Tefera (NSA Regional Capacity Development Specialist), and Wro Zehra Beyan , Wro Momina Kemal and Ato Seyfedin Nasir (all Master Facilitators) led the training. The program covered a variety of topics including: Basics of Nutrition, Agriculture and Nutrition Linkage, NSA Intervention, Wash and Nutrition, Gender & nutrition, Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) and Multi-sectoral coordination. In his opening remarks, Ato Kedir Mohamed (RAGP CU Coordinator) spoke about how ensuring dietary diversity (nutrition status) of small holder farmers is a cross-cutting issue and that so far some good results have been achieved, but to bring about significant change more integrated work is necessary. To realize our goals, he said collaboration among stakeholders is very important, especially at the Woreda and Kebele level. He encouraged participants to take their learning back to their colleagues once the training had concluded.

At the end of the program, participants expressed gratitude for being able to take part in the training. One participant – Ato Ademe Sime, Malga Woreda CANAG focal person – shared that the training was very different from other programs, both the content as well as the method of delivery. Similarly Wro Tejitu Mekonin, Bule woreda kebele health extension worker, observed that kebele DAs and HEWs were not working closely with each other and the training helped her to understand the existing nutrition status of the country and how to apply the new knowledge in her kebele.

Finally, the training was closed by Ato Kedir Mohammed with some advice to participants to work on establishing strong working relationships between HEW and DAs, as well as to set up an NSA forum at the Woreda level to seek collaborative solutions to address the malnutrition status of the community.