Takunda Maodza Manicaland Bureau Chief

GOVERNMENT has scaled up the Multi-Sectoral Community-Based Model (MCBM) to Food and Nutrition Security to 34 districts across the country from four as it seeks to reduce stunting in children under the age of five through multi-sectoral community-based approach.

Officially opening the MCBM Strategy Document Review Validation workshop in Mutare yesterday, Manicaland Provincial Administrator Mr Edgars Seenza said ensuring food and nutrition security helps meet targets set in Government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).

“The Government of Zimbabwe, through the Food and Nutrition Council (FNC), endorsed the implementation of the Multi-Sectoral Community-Based Model to Food and Nutrition Security for Stunting Reduction with the broad objective of reducing food and nutrition insecurity,” he said.

“The model specifically focuses on reducing stunting in children under five years through a multi-sectoral community-based approach and extension systems strengthening.”

The system utilises the bottom-up approach as it is people-centred and places ownership and control of the development process within the community.

“Communities cease to be mere beneficiaries of projects and programmes, but they are enabled to contextualise and own their development priorities,” said Mr Seenza.

He said, as opposed to the silo approach, the multi-sectoral approach was chosen following empirical and conceptual evidence which showed that the food and nutrition security problems confronting the country were complex and multi-dimensional.

“Addressing these challenges effectively in a sustainable manner is not a job for one sector alone,” said Mr Seenza.

“It requires multiple actions at multiple levels in multiple sectors.”

Zimbabwe adopted the multi-sectoral community-based approach to food and nutrition security challenges four years ago.

“The concept was first piloted in four districts (Chipinge, Mutasa, Chiredzi and Mwenezi) in 2015,” said Mr Seenza.

“As we speak, the model has been scaled up to 34 more districts which have been selected according to their high prevalence of chronically-malnourished children under five years and food insecure households.

“The positive milestones achieved in the four pilot districts has informed the scale up of the MCBM approach to 34 more districts.”

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