Enhancing Nutrition and Resilience with CASCADE’s FFBS

Ethiopia’s diverse cultures and food habits highlight its focus on grain-centric agricultural production, resulting in widespread consumption of cereal-based diets with limited variety in vegetables and tubers. Despite adequate food access in many households, poor nutritional status persists due to monotonous dietary practices, exacerbating malnutrition issues. To address these challenges, Ethiopia has developed the National Food and Nutrition Policy, yet effective implementation remains a significant gap

The CASCADE project aims to bridge this divide by supporting the implementation of food and nutrition policies, particularly targeting healthier diets and enhancing resilience against price and climate-related shocks, especially for women, children, and adolescents. Collaborating closely with government and technical committees, CASCADE enhances the quality and effectiveness of nutrition programs through policy dialogues advocating increased investment in nutrition initiatives.

The Farmer Field and Business School (FFBS) is integral to the implementation of the CASCADE program across the six countries. Initially developed under CARE’s Pathways to Empowerment program, FFBS capacitates farmers by enhancing their skills in production, market access, and gender equality within the food system. This approach integrates market dynamics, gender considerations, and nutritional components, fostering collaborative decision-making among farming communities.

FFBS participants on a Field visit at Fattening farm

CARE’s FFBS employs a structured curriculum and training manual aligned with local governance and seasonal production cycles. Through practical, hands-on demonstrations, farmers learn to meet market demands while addressing nutritional needs, promoting gender dialogues, and building community leadership. To scale this initiative effectively, CASCADE conducted a five-day FFBS training in Dire Dawa.

The FFBS training covers eight essential tools

  • Facilitation tools
  • Collective tools
  • Gender tools
  • Sustainable agriculture practices
  • Marketing strategies
  • Nutrition education
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning tools
  • Service system strengthening and social accountability (Community scorecard and Advocacy tools)

By implementing these tools, CASCADE aims to strengthen the FFBS model and enhance its impact on local communities, promoting sustainable agriculture practices and improved nutritional outcomes across Ethiopia.

Sarah Harris gave certificate awards to the participants of the training.

In conclusion, Ethiopia’s grain-centric agricultural practices pose challenges to nutritional diversity despite adequate food access. The National Food and Nutrition Policy aims to mitigate these issues, though implementation gaps persist. The CASCADE project addresses these gaps by advocating for healthier diets and bolstering resilience against economic and climatic challenges, particularly for vulnerable populations. Through initiatives like the Farmer Field and Business School (FFBS), CASCADE empowers farmers with skills in production, market access, and gender equality, fostering collaborative community decision-making. By deploying strategic tools and training, CASCADE strives to enhance sustainable agriculture practices and nutrition outcomes nationwide.


Atinkut Agegnehu | Policy and Advocacy Speecialist _CASCADE Ethiopia