Nutrition in Mountainous Agro-Ecosystems (NMA)

A disproportionally high number of the world's 2 billion hungriest and chronically malnourished people reside in mountain regions. As a mountain country, Switzerland supports the Mountain Agro ecology Action Network to make Rural Service Providers in 8 mountain countries competent regarding nutrition. They shall adapt their services to actively contribute for improving nutrition for half a million people, particularly women and children.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural services & market
Basic nutrition
01.06.2018 - 31.05.2021
CHF 3'000'000

A disproportionally high number of the worlds 2 Billion hungry and malnourished people reside in mountain regions. Households and communities in mountain areas depend highly on agriculture which is often constrained by scarce arable land resources, difficult climatic and topopgraphic conditions and poor infrastucture.

Several impact studies have shown the positive effects of ecological intensification on improved nutrition. Nutrition-sensitive agriculture involves the design and implementation of sustainable farming and cropping systems with explicit nutrition outcomes.

Rural Service Providers (RSP) are key agents for the delivery of nutrition knowledge and practices to rural communities and are a suitable vehicle to improved nutrition of rural communities because they reach and interact closely with farmers in different settings.

Objectives NMA contributes that men, women and children in mountain areas consume more diverse diets containing sufficient nutritious food. 
Target groups
  • Local level: Rural Service Providers

  • National level: Decision makers (public and private sector)

  • Global Level: Policy makers and donors

Beneficiaries: rural (farm) households in mountain areas

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome A.1:  Households increase production of nutritious foods.

Outcome A.2: People value the benefits of nutritious foods. 

Outcome B: National policies and action plans support and stimulate diversified production and consumption 

Outcome C: Global policies and processes strengthen the nutrition sensitive agriculture approach, particularly in mountain regions


Results from previous phases:  

  • The dietary diversity scores for women increased in the intervention areas of all 5 countries by more than +1 point and reaching above the minimum threshold of five food groups.
  • The Mountain Agro-Ecosystems Action Network was established and activated in the five countries, having 1721 registered users by end of 2017 and 47.468 clicks. 66 successful stories are documented.
  • 130 Rural Service Providers (30% women) were trained and coached for their field interventions and form an active community with strong social capital.
  • 130 Micro Interventions were implemented to show case how nutrition can be improved. 18.400 producers have been reached.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Other international or foreign NGO North

Other partners
SUN, GFRAS, ICIMOD, Mountain Institute, Rural Service Providers, Local and National Governments
Coordination with other projects and actors Promoting sustainable Mountain Development for Global change (7F-08758.01), Sustainable Nutrition for all (7F-09160.02), Nepal Agricultural Services Development Programme (NASDP)-Prayas (SDC); Nepal Agricultural Marketing Development Programme (NAMDP) (SDC); Small Irrigation Project (SIP) (SDC); Pakistan Farm Services Center (FSC) and Lady Health Workers/visitors (LHWs/LHVs); Ethiopia: ); SUN  Pakistan and Rural Support Programmes Pakistan; Community Based Nutrition Programme (Min of Health). Governments and local authorities in the five target countries, including their nutrition multi-stakeholder platforms.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   3'000'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   1'800'000
Project phases Phase 99 01.06.2018 - 31.12.2020   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.06.2018 - 31.05.2021   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.10.2014 - 31.05.2018   (Completed)