Ensuring the supply of and creating demand for a biofortified crop with a visible trait: Lessons learned from the introduction of orange-fleshed sweet potato in drought-prone areas of Mozambique
Authors: Low, Jan W.; Arimond, Mary; Osman, Nadia; Cunguara, Benedito; Zano, Filipe; Tschirley, David
Source: Food & Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 28, Supplement 2, June 2007 , pp. 258S-270S(13)
Abstract:Background. Orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) is a promising biofortified crop for sub-Saharan Africa because it has high levels of provitamin A carotenoids, the formed vitamin A is bioavailable, and white-fleshed sweet potato is already widely grown.
Objectives. To examine whether farmers will adopt varieties with a distinct visible trait, young children will eat OFSP in sufficient quantities to improve vitamin A intake, OFSP can serve as an entry point for promoting a more diversified diet, and lessons can be drawn to assure sustained adoption.
Methods. The 2-year quasi-experimental intervention study followed households and children (n = 741; mean age, 13 months at baseline) through two agricultural cycles in drought prone-areas of Mozambique.
Results. OFSP is acceptable to farmers when introduced by using an integrated approach. In the second year, intervention children (n = 498) were more likely than control children (n = 243) to have consumed OFSP (54% vs. 4%), dark-green leaves (60% vs. 46%), or ripe papaya (65% vs. 42%) on 3 or more days in the previous week (p < .001 for all comparisons). Their vitamin A intakes were nearly eight times higher than those of control children (median, 426 vs. 56 g RAE [retinol activity equivalents], p < .001). Diet diversification was limited by difficult agroecological conditions and low purchasing power. However, dietary diversity was higher among intervention than control children (32% vs. 9% consuming food from more than four groups; p < .001).
Conclusions. An integrated OFSP-based approach had a positive impact on the vitamin A intake of young children. A market development component and improved vine multiplication systems are recommended to assure sustained adoption.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007-06-01
- Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation in association with the United Nations University. The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.
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