Call for Proposals to promote Health and Nutrition for School Age Children in India

Call for Proposals to promote Health and Nutrition for School Age Children in India


At HarvestPlus, we believe that hidden hunger should not be inevitable for the people most at risk. We break down silos between agriculture and nutrition to develop creative solutions to combat hidden hunger. Our food-based approach targets some of the most vulnerable populations around the world.

HarvestPlus, and its CGIAR partners, breed crops with naturally higher levels of key micronutrients, using a process called biofortification, as well as other beneficial agircultural traits, such as climate resilience, higher yields, disease resistance, and pest tolerance.

This approach complements other nutrition interventions, and is evidence-based, cost-effective, and sustainable. We work across the entire value chain to develop and deliver nutrient-enriched seeds, grains, and foods to the people who need it most, via a large collection of innovative and traditional supply chain activities.

HarvestPlus works across CGIAR as part of the International Food Policy Research Institute. To learn more about HarvestPlus, visit our home page here.

Nutri-Pathshala Model

The Nutri-Pathshala program focuses on incorporating biofortified grains into the school feeding program in India. Biofortification is a process that increases the nutrient content of food crops through conventional breeding techniques or modern biotechnology. In this case, iron pearl millet and zinc wheat are being promoted. Micronutrient deficiency, also known as hidden hunger, is a prevalent issue among school-age children in India.

It can have long-lasting effects on their cognitive and physical development. By introducing biofortified grains like iron pearl millet and zinc wheat into school meals, the Nutri-Pathshala initiative aims to address this problem.

These biofortified grains have higher levels of essential micronutrients such as iron and zinc. Iron is crucial for the production of red blood cells and overall growth, while zinc is important for immune function and cognitive development. The Nutri-Pathshala program works in collaboration with state governments, schools, and local communities to ensure the successful implementation of nutrient rich diets in school feeding programs.

It not only provides nutritious meals, but also promotes awareness about the importance of a balanced diet and healthy eating habits. Through the use of biofortified grains in school meals, the Nutri-Pathshala program intends to improve the overall health and well-being of school-age children.

Biofortification in India

India is home to some 1.3 billion people. In India, 30% of adult males, 45% of adult females, 80% of pregnant females, and 60% of children are iron deficient. Meanwhile, some 300 million Indians (22% of the population) are deficient in zinc, including 44% of all Indian children under the age of five.

Nationally, pearl millet is consumed by 6-7% of households in India but reaches a much higher percentage in six states, i.e. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan account for 90% of pearl millet production and consumption.

Other states where the crop is often consumed include Maharashtra and Karnataka. Consumption of pearl millet is highest in the state of Rajasthan, at 60 grams per day on average. Wheat is widely consumed across all states in India with an average consumption of 138 grams per day, accounting for 20% of daily caloric intake. Outside of southern India, average consumption is even higher. Major wheat cultivation and production hubs are found in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Punjab.

Details of this Request for Proposals

The main objective of the RFP is to identify an
organization, processor, and/or private sector partner (hereinafter referred to as consultant) that will work to achieve the following:

  • Develop nutritious recipes utilizing biofortified IPM and ZW in partnership with the HarvestPlus team for add on snacks to be delivered to school-age children in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand for a period of 3 months. This will include development of recipes, lab testing of food products and getting approval for distribution at identified schools in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

  • Supply biofortified products to schools as an add on to Mid-Day-Meal schemes/school feeding programs. The consultant will procure biofortified grains (IPM and ZW) from FPCs and community institutions which can be facilitated by the Harvestlus team. These grains will be used to produce cookies, biscuits, and other biofortified food products for school-age children. The consultant will distribute these products to specific schools an Anganwadi centers, in close coordination with district administration and HarvestPlus teams. As these are food products, the agency will have to strictly follow all regulations and obtain the necessary licenses/certificates prior to commencing the program.

  • Develop Nutri-Pathshala. Under the HaNSA project, the consultant will develop the identified schools as Nutri-Pathshalas with with support from the school management committee, HarvestPlus experts, and government stakeholders in the schools and Anganwadis where the biofortified food products are being supplied contributing to the holistic development of school age children.

  • Reporting, Monitoring, and Evaluation. The consultant will be responsible for collecting data, sharing progress reports, and the analysis of data to showcase the progress and outcomes thus achieved. This includes the baseline, end line, and impact report.

    Scope of Work

    Stage 1:

    Developing products and recipes to supply biofortified add-on snacks to selected Anganwadi centers and schools in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. This will involve working closely with the HarvestPlus team.

    Stage 2:

    Based on the target mentioned in the table above, the selected partner will identify the schools and Anganwadi centers and provide the details to the HarvestPlus team. The partner will obtain permission from the relevant authorities to distribute biscuits and cookies to the respective schools and Anganwadi centers. Each registered school-age child will receive 20 grams of biofortified cookies or biscuits twice a week for a period of 12 weeks.

    Stage 3:

    Supply of biofortified cookies and biscuits to 40,000 students in selective Anganwadi and schools for 3 months and implementation of HaNSA program in those selected Anganwadi and schools with close coordination of ICDS and MDMS teams in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

    Stage 4:

    Share the report providing evidence of supplying biofortified add-on snacks to 40,000 children in selected Anganwadi and schools.

    All the activities mentioned above will be carried out in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. The partner will ensure the implementation of these activities in close coordination with the district administration, ICDS, department of education, MDMS, and HarvestPlus.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Call for Proposals to promote Health and Nutrition for School Age Children in India

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