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Project Background:

Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness as well as being a major contributory factor to the severity of several other childhood’s causes of morbidity and mortality. Anemia among pregnant and non-pregnant women of reproductive age is also common. The key factors associated with maternal anemia in rural Bangladesh include malnutrition (low body mass index and Vitamin A deficiency), lactation demands, and no use of family planning and extreme poverty. Millions of children suffer the consequences of VAD, which include higher mortality and loss of eye sight. It is also evident that VAD affects mothers and school-age children in addition to pre-school children. Considering the above facts, DDJ started implementing the project.

Duration: January 1995 to December 2000.

Area Coverage: Pirojpur Sadar, Mathbaria and Nazirpur upazilas of Pirojpur district.

Source of Funding: Helen Keller International (HKI).

Project Goal: To improve nutritional status of the people.

Project Objectives:

  • To increase vegetable production in the area to meet the nutritional needs of the beneficiaries and earning an extra income;
  • To increase seed production of improved varieties of vegetables to meet local needs;
  • To raise awareness on homestead gardening, use of vegetables to prevent vitamin ‘A’ deficiency among the children and mothers, especially the pregnant mothers;
  • To produce fruit and timber saplings for plantation by the beneficiaries and earning an extra income by selling the saplings which will ultimately assist environmental protection and ecological balance.

Project Participants:

Major Intervention:

1.   Set up Central Nursery and Gram Nurseries (GNs) and Nutrition Gardens (HGs);

2.   Prepare seedbeds under each Gram Nursery and Nutrition Garden;

3.   Establish Demonstration Nursery and Nutrition Gardens (DN & NGs);

4.   Produced/prepare and distribute improved seeds, plants, seedbeds etc.