Through cooking and farming demonstrations, a project starting this month aims to improve nutrition in the rural areas of Chin State, where stunted growth continues to affect a large segment of the population.

The Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development (MIID) and Cornell University announced the three-year project in a statement on June 28. Funded by the Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund, the project will start in Hakha township.

The organisation hopes to address the root causes of malnutrition in a state that ranks among the worst in the country for child nutrition.

Members of the community will get hands-on learning experiences through nutritional training and cooking demonstrations. Farmers will learn agricultural techniques to help them grow more nutritious crops, Sung Sung, a communications officer for MIID, told The Myanmar Times.

MIID research found that 60 percent of the children in Chin State have stunted growth compared to 30pc nationwide, said executive director Joern Kristensen.

The project proposes an integrated approach to combating lack of nutrition, one that combines government efforts, community engagement, assistance by technical specialists, and academic preparation for the next generation of agricultural workers’ understanding of the important linkage between agriculture and nutrition.

“Through the participatory planning process, this unacceptably high rate of malnutrition among children was recognised as the key indicator of the need for economic and social development in the state,” Mr Kristensen said.