How to Improve the Nutrition of the Rural People

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UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN

DEPARTMENT: AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT.

COURSE CODE: AED 713

COURSE TITLE: EXTENSION ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION

BY

CHUKWUEMEKA A. NKWOCHA
QUESTION: SET UP AN EXTENSION PROGRAME ON HOW TO IMPROVE THE NUTRITION OF A RURAL SETTING, GOING THROUGH THE BASIC PROCESSES OF ADMINISTRATION.

INTRODUCTION

Good nutrition is very essential for a healthy living, and to achieve that, we have to eat balanced diet all the time. A balanced diet is defined as any combination of food that contains the right proportions of all the essential food nutrients. It is a truism that most people in our world today, especially in Africa, overlook the idea of eating a balanced diet hence high rate of malnutrition. It is also believed that the people living in the rural areas are usually malnourished because of poor nutrition resulting from poor eating habits. It is therefore appropriate to preach the gospel of imbibing good eating habits, eating balanced diet, and encouraging breastfeeding in nursing mothers through the creation of awareness campaigns, using various media of information dissemination like radio and TV programs, and distributing easy to read pamphlets on good nutrition to the literate ones. The "Four Food Group" Plan of yesteryears implied that foods in the Meat, Dairy, Breads and Vegetable Fruit groups were equal in their contribution to a healthy diet. Today, researchers show that diets rich in complex carbohydrates and low in saturated fats may reduce our risk of chronic disease. Health professionals designed the "Food Pyramid" guide to translate these recommendations into a food plan for daily living.

OBJECTIVES: at the end of the sensitization programme on how to improve the nutrition of the rural people, they should be able to;

1) Know the right combination of food to form a balanced diet, 2) Develop good eating habits,
3) Set up small fruits and vegetable farms to be used as food supplements.

THE STEPS TO BE TAKEN TO ACHIEVE THE SET OBJECTIVES, PUTTING INTO CONSIDERATION THE BASIC PROCESSES OF ADMINISTRATION ARE:

STEP 1: The first step in conducting a successful extension intervention programme in a rural setting is to acknowledge the powers and authority of the village or community head. Introduce your programme convincingly to the village head, having at the back of your mind that he is the “voice of the people”, and that his opinion will determine to a large extent the success or failure of the programme.

STEP 2: Plan on how to successfully implement the nutrition enhancement programme, making sure the people are actively involved in the planning and implementation process to achieve better results. Make sure the programme is people oriented, and that their lives will be better-off after the completion of the exercise. Fix day to day schedules and ensure active participation.

STEP 3: Organize a stakeholders meeting in nutrition and educate them on good nutrition. The stakeholders could include the women and young girls, who are mostly involved in food preparation, the farmers who cultivate food crops including fruits and vegetables, the market women who sell the food items in the market places, and the local restaurant owners. Delegate duties and responsibilities to the participants so that they will be carried along and most importantly develop a sense of belonging. This will ensure the success of the programme.

STEP 4: Assemble all the human, material and natural resources available within the community and amongst the people, needed for a successful implementation of the programme.

STEP 5: Co-ordinate the programme, motivate the people, and evaluate the success of the programme, to ensure that the principles and guidelines set for a successful implementation are strictly adhered to. Also encourage interaction between and among group of persons, in order to achieve free flow of communication....
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