Given its impressive track record over the last 20 years, Rwanda has rightly been considered a model for reducing poverty and hunger in Africa. Between 1990 and 2015, hunger was reduced by almost half. Yet leaders and researchers are still confronted with a puzzling fact: despite higher crop yields and increasing incomes, nutrition is not improving.
For example, in Rwanda’s northern volcanic areas—the country’s bread basket region—childhood stunting levels are unacceptably high. Why is it that, in one of the continent’s most productive agricultural regions, where households consider themselves food secure, we still see up to half of children stunted due to malnutrition?