Initiative Result:

Engaging stakeholders to shape nutrition policy

Through engagement at Tanzania’s Joint Multisectoral Nutrition Review (JMNR), FRESH positioned fruit and vegetables in national policy discussions.

At Tanzania’s 9th JMNR, FRESH shared research findings on the importance of fruit and vegetables in achieving national nutrition goals. By engaging key stakeholders such as Tanzania’s prime minister, FRESH generated support for evidence-based programs and policies that will empower Tanzanians to incorporate more fruit and vegetables in their diets.

Undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and obesity pose complex public health challenges in Tanzania, especially among women and children. Insufficient consumption of fruit and vegetables (F&V) is a significant contributor. The CGIAR Research Initiative on Fruit and Vegetables for Sustainable Healthy Diets (FRESH) uses an end-to-end approach to increase fruit and vegetable intake to improve diet quality, nutrition and health outcomes while also improving livelihoods, empowering women and youth, and mitigating negative environmental impacts.

Recognizing the need for strong partnerships to ensure that FRESH’s activities align with government priorities and have buy-in from governments and other key stakeholders, FRESH has diligently engaged key stakeholders in Tanzania across the nutrition, agriculture, and related sectors since its inception. Over the past year, FRESH held meetings with the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC) and Ministry of Health and participated in the Development Partners Group in Nutrition, increasing FRESH’s visibility among government agencies and non-governmental organizations. These engagements led to FRESH being invited to participate in the 9th Joint Multisectoral Nutrition Review (JMNR), held in October 2023, in Arusha, Tanzania.

The JMNR presented a pivotal opportunity to champion F&V in nutrition policy discussions. The event brought together influential figures, including representatives from government ministries, ministerial departments and agencies; non-state actors; research institutions; and the private sector. The theme of the JMNR, “To Strengthen Sustainable Food Systems for Better Nutrition Outcomes and Human Capital Development,” aligns with FRESH’s mission to improve diet quality, nutrition, and health outcomes by increasing F&V in diets.

Through research presentations, FRESH effectively communicated the importance of F&V in achieving national nutrition goals. As one of four oral presentations at the JMNR, FRESH was provided a platform to share findings from a scoping review on nutritional status, diets, and F&V consumption among women and children in Tanzania. The presentation, delivered by Dorcas Amunga, a research associate and nutritionist at the International Potato Center (CIP), was tied directly to an output jointly produced under FRESH by colleagues from CIP, IFPRI, Sokoine University of Agriculture, and the University of California at Davis. Informative posters created by colleagues at the World Vegetable Center in collaboration with local Tanzanian organizations showcased FRESH’s research on improving production of safe and sustainable vegetables and the influence of food environments and the political economy on F&V accessibility.

During an exhibition, FRESH’s interactive booth fostered discussions with key stakeholders, including Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa, who commended FRESH’s efforts to combat malnutrition and encouraged further progress in local F&V production.

By interacting with diverse actors across the food system, FRESH has established partnerships able to co-create solutions addressing barriers to F&V consumption. FRESH is generating new evidence and formulating actionable recommendations to increase F&V intake. In 2023, FRESH launched a baseline survey as part of a comprehensive evaluation of its end-to-end approach in Tanzania. The evaluation will provide data on household dietary intake patterns, food environments, and the effectiveness of FRESH interventions on household production of vegetables and dietary intake of F&V among women of reproductive age. Through collaborative efforts and a strengthened national policy focus on F&V, FRESH is actively contributing to a healthier future for millions of Tanzanians.

Good nutrition is key for people’s wellbeing! Thanks to CGIAR’s FRESH Initiative for participating in the 9th Joint Multisectoral Nutrition Review in October 2023 that brought together nutrition stakeholders to review the progress of the implementation of nutrition interventions in Tanzania. With combined efforts, we will achieve healthier livelihoods.

Wiston Mwombeki, FRESH country coordinator, Tanzania

Header photo: Indigenous fruit in the Philippines. D. Hunter/Alliance of Bioversity International.

CGIAR Centers



World Vegetable Center; Applied Horticultural Research; Sokoine University of Agriculture; University of California Davis