Story 3: Nutrition Garden – Practical pathway for address malnutrition
As per the status of 14 blocks in the district; there are 3264 Anganwadi Kendra’s are present. As per their records there are 15,416 pregnant women, 15,506 lactating mothers, 874 very severe underweight children, 12,604 medium weight children and 1,33,226 normal children in the whole of Koraput district. He has given the detailed blockwide data for all the 14 blocks. In this background, the Nutrition Security Abhiyan is started in the Odisha to improve the nutritional status of both mother and children in the state. Though Nutrition Garden cannot eradicate malnutrition entirely, it can reduce the malnutrition in mother and children. There are still 874 malnutrition affected children in Koraput; effort is being taken to by the state Govt as well as by Biju Patnaik Tribal Agrobiodiversity Centre, M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Jeypore working in the district to address the issue.
MSSRF has reached about 20,000 people in four blocks of Koraput District i.e. Kundra, Boipariguda, Jeypore and Koraput blocks. Priority has been given to establish backyard nutrition garden in the region. More than 2,500 nutrition gardens have been established in these blocks. The foundation has provided about 30,000 nutri-rich plants such as – papaya, drumstick, lemon, banana, pomegranate, guava, pine apple, custard apple etc. and various nutria-rich vegetable seeds to the families having nutrition garden.
Besides, the story also mentioned about the farming system for nutrition activities of MSSRF, how it is benefiting the tribal people in the region. The nutrition garden model is being upscaled by the state Govt. by implementing a scheme “Mo Poshan Bagicha” [My Nutrition Garden] through Mahatma Gandhi NREGS. On the whole, the importance of Nutrition Garden introduced by MSSRF under FSN to reduce malnutrition in the district is highlighted in the article by providing the context of prevailing degree of malnutrition.