Yoneco in malnutrition elimination program

Mchinji: In a move to address some of the challenges that come due to malnutrition among under-five children in Mchinji district, Youth Net and Counseling (Yoneco) on Wednesday donated Soy Milk making machine to Gereva youth club in Traditional Authority Zulu in the district.

Yoneco District Manager for Mchinji, Hughes Munthali said the district is well known for producing more farm yields and is among the districts that feed the country. However, there are high cases of malnutrition that are being recorded which he said is a complete contradiction.

In an effort to address challenges attributed to nutrition deficiency for under-five children in the district, Yoneco which works with the youth, last year introduced an Agriculture Diversification Project with financial support from USAID and Feed the Future, he said.

Our wish as Yoneco is that we want to empower young people, build a case that young people can venture into agri-business as you can see today we have donated Soy milk making machine whereby the young people will be able to produce milk hence generating income for themselves, he further said.

Munthali said the youth group has already grown soy for value addition and on top of that, the group has received some money amounting to K300, 000 as a starter pack.

In his remarks, acting District Agriculture Development Officer (DADO) for Mchinji, Precious Chautsi commended the project saying in Malawi there are a lot of youths who are just staying idle hence giving such interventions to them would encourage a lot of them to be engaged in farming business and promote the economy of the district.

You know selling farm produce like soy without adding value sometimes cannot give enough returns, but when you add value, definitely even the returns from soy can be very profitable and the milk they are going to produce from soy is going to be very important for the children’s growth, he said.

Chautsi confessed that malnutrition is really a problem in the district and needs to be addressed.

Mchinji as a district produces a lot of crops including soy but mostly farmers are just selling the produce to vendors and other buyers without consuming meaning they are not taking in the required nutrients, he said.

He however, encouraged the youth to be united for the sustainability of the program saying value addition among others reduces the challenge of market scarcity.

Two youth clubs Gereva and Libeth will benefit from the project which will run for a period of 5 years.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA

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