Historically, approaches to food and nutrition security were often segmented, with nutrition security often lagging behind agricultural production. The establishment of the Food and Nutrition Council, and the later formulation the Food and Nutrition Security Policy, formally introduced the combined approach to food and nutrition security; where nutrition is now also being viewed as an input to economic development as opposed to an output of that; as well as the multi-sectoral approach now adapted in the coordination of all national action in the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition, in Zimbabwe.
The policy’s accompanying implementation strategy details activities that span from Cabinet level, through a Standing Cabinet Committee on Food and Nutrition Security, right down to Sub-District Food and Nutrition Security Committees, with several multi-stakeholder co-ordination platforms in-between, the national priority of effecting change at household are well within reach.
Zimbabwe’s long-term commitment to prioritizing food and nutrition security through multi-sectoral action has been further emphasized through the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimASSET), an economic blueprint which identifies priority areas to be addressed for effective economic recovery. This document is also another firm foundation on which stakeholders from a variety of previously seemingly unrelated sectors can engage, build partnerships and chart comprehensive approaches to food and nutrition security.
Internationally, an important demonstration of Zimbabwe’s multi-sectoral approaches include joining the SUN Movement, a global multi-sectoral platforms addressing nutrition security. SUN Zimbabwe networks include an array of participants from government, UN and donor agencies, civil society, academia, media and the business sectors among other, all focussed on the common goal of nutrition security.
At national levels, several home-grown solutions are being applied to ensure that discussion platforms centred on food and nutrition security
are well-rounded, representative and penetrate the necessary sectors, for more holistic action.
High-level multi-sectoral platforms include the Standing Cabinet Committee on Food and Nutrition Security, Working Party of Permanent Secretaries on Food and Nutrition Security, which both constitute representation of the following key ministries identified as pivotal to national food and nutrition security efforts:
Conduct a curriculum review of major tertiary institutions providing training that relates to food and nutrition security (University of Zimbabwe, Midlands State University and Chinhoyi University of Technology) to produce a review document which will inform further action, including the establishment collaborative structures with academic institutions and the formation of an Association to that effect.
The Food and Nutrition Security Advisory Group combines technical expertise of senior government and development partner agencies to provide technical analysis and strategic dialogue between stakeholders, the results of which inform strategic direction and resource mobilization nationally through the Food and Nutrition Council. The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee is another multi-sectoral grouping providing vital up-to-date information that informs national food and nutrition security interventions. Other sector-specific co-ordination platforms include the:
However, the most widespread vehicle for multi-sectoral coordination are the Food and Nutrition Security Committees which are national and sub-national platforms monitoring progress on the implementation of the policy from national to provincial down to district and even ward level in some cases.
Within this context FNC will undertake the following activities in 2015 in an effort to promote multi-sectoral action in the implementation of the Food and Nutrition Security Policy and ZimASSET, categorized according to the outputs they aim achieve:
To promote a multi-sectoral response to food and nutrition insecurity problems and ensure that every Zimbabwean is free from hunger and malnutrition.