THE JCTR BASIC NEEDS AND NUTRITION BASKET
A Simplified Guide to the JCTR Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket
The guide can be used to promote healthy diets and improve knowledge on basic nutrition in Zambia.
Various food items listed in the Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) compiled by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) are the recommended source of nutrients that need to be consumed by a family of five on a monthly basis to meet their basic dietary needs and indeed eliminate the challenges associated with malnutrition.
The nutrition situation in Zambia remains of high concern and a threat to the national economy. Zambia continues to rank poorly at a global level on food security and nutrition. Evidently, there is an urgent need for the country to ensure that this situation is addressed.
There is need to prioritize resource allocation to reflect policy strategies if food security and malnutrition are to be addressed. It is clear that conditions and factors impacting the nutrition status are evolving. Therefore, adaptation to the changing environment is vital to help build the resilience of the vulnerable and poor segments of the population, especially in rural areas. The effects of climate change and variability such as flash floods and prolonged dry-spells in high food production areas continue to threaten food availability.
This change negatively affects the rural agricultural households by lowering their harvest, income, and consequently food and nutrition access.
There’s need to communicate and particularly foster behavioral change in regards dietary habits and preferences.
More sensitization and awareness raising needs to be done particularly on local and traditional foods and their nutritional values. The value of home cooked meals needs more emphasis in order to discourage the culture of fast foods.