1. Projects >
  2. Child Health, Agriculture and Integrated Nutrition (CHAIN)

Child Health, Agriculture and Integrated Nutrition (CHAIN)

The proportion of children under five years old who are stunted in Zimbabwe is estimated to be 28%. Stunting leads to a higher risk of dying, poorer school performance and lower wages in adult life. Improving the quantity and quality of food for children under two years of age is the best approach we have to prevent stunting. An earlier project (Sanitation, Hygiene, Infant Nutrition Efficacy, SHINE) provided mothers with information on infant and young child feeding (IYCF) and provided a daily supplement (Nutributter) to provide extra calories and vitamins to children. However, many children still did not meet their daily nutrient requirements and over one-quarter remained stunted.

The SHINE data showed that nutrient intake remained insufficient to meet both macro- and micronutrient requirements for most children. The overarching hypothesis of the CHAIN project is that this nutrient gap can be filled by a combined agriculture and infant-feeding intervention.


  • Deliver an integrated agriculture and infant feeding intervention (“IYCF-plus”) to households in a randomized, community-based trial in rural Zimbabwe
  • Evaluate the impact of IYCF-plus on nutrient intake and growth in young children at risk of stunting
  • Evaluate the impact of the IYCF-plus intervention on biological barriers to nutrient uptake and utilization
  • Identify metabolic signatures of the IYCF-plus intervention in young children