Small Scale Grain Fortification in Tanzania

Felix Brooks-church, PI, Project Healthy Children/Sanku (Funded 2016-2017)

The aim of this proposal is to establish acceptability, use, and sustainability of small-scale maize flour fortification in two rural regions of Tanzania where the population is not reached by large-mill fortification efforts as a means of reducing micronutrient malnutrition. Legislation mandating wheat flour fortification in Tanzania was passed in 2013, but the reach of this flour is limited, particularly in rural areas where maize flour from small mills is the main staple and where need is the greatest. As a result of this limited reach, an estimated 70% of women in Tanzania do not have access to industrially milled staple foods that are fortified with folic acid and other key micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. This puts these women at an increased risk for having births affected with neural tube defects, weak immune systems, and complications during childbirth.

By using Sanku’s technology and on-the-ground experience in the domain of small-scale fortification, this proposal seeks to better understand how to scale the adoption of fortification at the rural level in an environment where it cannot be mandated through consumer demand mechanisms and value-add components for the miller. If successful in rural Tanzania, there is potential for wide applicability to other rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia where food fortification is not centralized and where the burden of vitamin and minerals deficiencies are on the rise.