Communicating Agriculture and Nutrition:
Opportunities for Agricultural Extension-Communication and Advisory Services in Nepal
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Meeting the dual goal of improving income and enhancing the nutrition status of Nepal’s rural residents is the mandate of the Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES) project, which is supported by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Feed the Future initiative. A landscape study that provided an overview of Nepal’s agriculture and the status of the country’s agricultural extension system (AES) threshed out a primary target audience—rural women. How can they be reached with nutrition information through the existing AES? The landscape study also identified 11 organizations as INGENAES collaborators. What opportunities do they offer to advance INGENAES objectives? Following Rice and Foote’s (2001) systems-theoretical approach, this formative evaluation study drew from the insights of project and program managers and coordinators, communication officers, representatives of non-government organizations (NGOs), extension officers, and editors and journalists of farm publications who work in the intersection of agriculture and nutrition in Nepal. Data were gathered from a survey of the chief communication and/orextension officers of these 11 partner agencies. Additional data were collected from evaluation questionnaires completed by project managers and communication officers of 12 government and non-government agencies who participated in aseminar-workshop on how to improve gender and nutrition communication.These two methods brought to light opportunities that can be used to enhance the communication and/orextension of nutrition-enriched agricultural information, especially to rural women. Recommendations for future communications work are offered.
Keywords:Extension and advisory services, Nepal, gender-sensitive nutrition communication, gender and nutrition in extension, rural women