Food Scientist and Food Safety Expert in Mozambique
24 October 2017
FFI: What inspired you to become involved with food fortification?
Mungoi: I had the privilege of being part of a group of experts that designed the pilot food fortification program in Mozambique. We implemented the program together with other partner sand learned by applying what was known from the other countries. So it was interesting.
FFI: How is your country prioritizing fortification?
Mungoi: Food Fortification was recognized by the Government of Mozambique as one of the strategies to tackle chronic malnutrition. This was reflected in the Multisectoral Action Plan for the reduction of Chronic Undernutrition in Mozambique 2011-2015(2020), five-year government plan (2015-2019) and others. In 2016, the government approved the legislation of mandatory food fortification for maize flour, wheat flour, edible oil, sugar and salt. In line of the legislation, a national food fortification strategy was developed and approved last year.
FFI: What are the main components to a successful fortification program where you live?
Mungoi: The main components for success in our program are:
- Political and industry commitment
- Technical and financial support from partners
- Multisector approach
- Enforcement Legislation
FFI: Where are the greatest challenges you have encountered in planning or implementing fortification programs? And how did you address those challenges?
Mungoi: To bring everyone on board and understand the importance of food fortification for our country. Initially, there was a resistance to implement new programs, and the case of fortification was not different. The main challenges now is to ensure compliance; therefore, monitoring is key. We are building the capacity to ensure adequate monitoring and evaluation of our program to report on the outcomes and impact for our interventions.
FFI: What other projects are you currently working on?
Mungoi: We are in the process of designing a pilot small scale project for maize flour fortification in the rural to be more inclusive. There are a number of small millers that are interested to join the food fortification family and contribute to the prevention of micronutrient deficiency at the rural area.
FFI: What can we do, as a society, to continue raising the fortification efforts?
Mungoi: We believe that access to adequate micronutrient intake is not optional, but it is a right, this is why we pushed for legislation. The enforcement of this legislation and adequate environmental conditions and resources are the key for continued and sustained efforts on fortification.