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College of Health and Human Sciences

Team to develop, field test micronutrient-fortified food aid for Tanzania with $3 million from USDA

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A team from K-State will receive the largest award in an $8.5 million project under the Micronutrient-Fortified Food Aid Products Pilot Program.

The group will develop and field test novel, extruded, high-protein, sorghum-based micronutrient-fortified blended foods that can be used for nutritional aid programs in Tanzania. Principal investigators for the 3-year $3 million pilot are: Edgar Chambers IV, Sandy Procter and Brian Lindshield, in human nutrition, plus Sajid Alavi in grain science and industry and Nina Lilja, director of international agricultural programs.

“These products will be pre-cooked sorghum-soybean and sorghum-cowpea blends or ‘porridge mixes’ that can be used for supplemental feeding and nutrition programs for infants and children below the age of 5 years. These blends require much lower energy/fuel to prepare into gruels compared to fortified blended foods currently used in feeding programs,” according to Alavi who will direct the project.

From BBC News

"In addition, these products enhance the use of U.S. sorghum, soybeans and cowpea for value-added food applications. This can lead to greater demand for these drought-tolerant crops in Africa and reduce the current dependence on corn that is a cause of food insecurity in cereal deficient countries." The products are developed in the United States using domestically grown commodities.

The USDA program is funded by the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole) Program, and recipients will focus their efforts over in Cambodia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Mozambique and Tanzania.

"Our efforts to support global food security are important to the many people around the world who do not have access to nutritious and safe food. Fresh approaches to food assistance are also critically important to the sustainable economic growth of these nations and the economic prosperity and national security of our own country," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Currently, 37 food aid agreements are being funded with 16 cooperating sponsors in 30 countries, assisting more than five million beneficiaries.

The McGovern-Dole Program is named in honor of Ambassador and former Senator George McGovern and former Senator Robert Dole for their tireless efforts to encourage a global commitment to school feeding and child nutrition.

The Micronutrient-Fortified Food Aid Products Pilot Program and the McGovern-Dole Program are administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The food aid programs contribute to the goals of President Obama’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. Feed the Future is part of a multilateral effort launched at the L’Aquila World Summit on Food Security in 2009 to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015.

Prepared by Human Ecology communications and U.S. Department of Agriculture



This article was posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2012, and is filed under College News, Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health.