Nutrition and Sustainable developmentArmenia: experience of Amaranth growingElena Manvelyan, MD, PhD
Nutrition, health and human rights • “It is right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger". Rome Declaration on World Food Security (World Food Summit, 1996)
Armenia: Background information • Population: 3.2 millions – 33.4% rural population Area: 29,743 km2 • GDP per person: 503.6 USD Capital: Yerevan
Economic features of the last decade • Unemployment rate: 30%-35% • 55% of population live behind the level of poverty 23% live in utter poverty • Extremely poor population 16% • Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption 14.4%Average salary: $15-20 per month • Minimal consumer basket: $ 80
UNICEF & WFP survey on nutritional status/Armenia • Stunting (low height for age): 9.1% in urban areas & 15.5% in rural areas Anemia: 26% of children aged 12-23 months & 25% of children aged 24-59 months
“Amaranth/Improvement of Nutrition and Health Status of Pregnant Women and Childrenwith body weight deficiency” The pilot project developed by NGO “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” (AWHHE)
GOAL • To improve the general health status and the quality of life of vulnerable groups of Armenian population and to assist them to attain financial sustainability.
Objectives • To strengthen the capacity of rural women in developing and implementing income generating activities • To improve general health and nutrition status of pregnant women and children (continued)
Objectives • To raise awareness in women, community groups and professionals about the nutritional value of amaranth, as well as the potential for sustainable agricultural development • To introduce amaranth in the diet of the population
Amaranth contains: • High levels of proteins and amino acids (especially amino acids lysine and methionine). Higher than other plants levels of carbohydrates, calcium, iron, dietary fibers and vitamins. Approximately 48 % of very valuable starch.
“ EcoAmaranth” • Goal • Improvement of quality of life of rural population in Armenia through introduction and popularization of new agricultural crop amaranth
Objectives: • Continue amaranth growing activities • Improve nutrition of children from socially vulnerable families and having body weight deficiencies Improve nutrition of persons ill with Tuberculosis
Comparative data of amaranth growing expenses at three agricultural seasons
Results of nutrition of 64 children from socially vulnerable families (during 5 months) • •Children on full daily dose (30 g) of amaranth gained on average 1kg of weight monthly • •Children eating half daily dose of amaranth gained 700-800 g monthly • •Children eating small amounts of amaranth gained 400-500g monthly • •Children from control group (did not eat amaranth) gained 250-300g monthly
Improvement of nutrition of persons ill with Tuberculosis • Overall: 32 patients Duration: 5 months Amount of amaranth flour per month: 1,400 g Age groups: 15 to 30 years old – 20 patients 36 to 45 years old – 6 patients 51 to 71 years old – 6 patients
Results of nutrition of 32 patients with Tuberculosis • 23 patents had increased their weight: 11 patients 1– 3 kg 9 patients 4 – 6 kg 3 patients 9 – 11 kg Overall, general health status of majority of the patients has improved.
Further ideas on amaranth project • 1.Continue growing amaranth • 2.Continue studies on its health effects • 3.Continue education campaign in the villages • 4.Marketing activities and advertising campaign • 5.Make a film about amaranth for its further popularization • 6.Identify potential partners for establishment of the network of enterprises on distribution/sell of amaranth production.
Acknowledgements • The entire staff of the NGO AWHHE is deeply grateful to the organization WECF and all those Private funds in the Netherlands who funded the project and by their invaluable support made possible to implement the project activities.