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Education and Training for Sustainable Agriculture and Nutritiuon in East Africa (EaTSANE)
Purpose: We studied innovation processes in agriculture and nutrition to discuss a scaling approach that encompasses the technical, institutional, and behavioral dimensions of change. Approach: To understand dynamics across these dimensions, we analyzed farmers’ innovation processes through two analytical lenses: farmer-centered and structural. Focus group discussions in Kapchorwa, Uganda, and Teso South, Kenya, looked at farmers’ choices of innovations. Individual interviews and stakeholder workshops at both study sites increased understanding of the local innovation system. Findings: To address local challenges, strive for livelihood aspirations, and fulfill personal taste preferences, farmers selected and adapted practices promoted by a research project. A wide range of additional support providers encouraged farmers to develop innovations in agriculture, marketing, and nutrition. Practical implications: By promoting innovation as a process rather than an outcome, it is possible to address context-specific needs and enhance farmers’ adaptive capacities. Scaling these processes necessitates the involvement of innovation support service providers in order to create an enabling environment for experimentation. Theoretical implications: Analytical dualism highlights the different roles of human agency and structures in innovation processes needed to design successful scaling strategies. Originality/value: This paper sets out a novel approach to understanding the increasingly discussed dimensions of scaling by linking them with concepts from innovation studies.
Responsive infant and young child feeding as a reciprocal relationship between the child and his or her caregiver is recommended by the WHO but has received less attention than dietary diversity or meal frequency up to now. The current study assessed common (non)responsive child feeding practices and factors that facilitate or hinder caregivers to improve feeding practices in rural Teso South Sub-County, Western Kenya. The qualitative study used focus group discussion (n = 93) and Trials of Improved Practices (TIPs) (n = 48) to identify challenges and opportunities in household food distribution and feeding practices. Overall, the implementation of responsive feeding practices was feasible for the caregivers. Parents reported mainly positive experiences in terms of the child’s feeding behavior and effects on child health. Traditional beliefs, practices, and cultural norms hindered some households to change intrahousehold food distribution. Households who manage to implement responsive feeding even in food insecure regions should be consulted to (a) improve existing nutrition education messages that acknowledge these cultural norms, (b) to include more responsive feeding information in nutrition education material, and (c) to address gender norms to create awareness of the importance of responsive feeding practices and the need for adequate time allocation for infant and young child feeding.
Crop nutrient deficiencies are determined based on leaf nutrient composition, and rarely on food composition. Consequently, it remains unclear whether leaf nutrients are useable to form conclusions on quality of produced foods. This study aimed to investigate the relationships between plant macro- (Mg, P, S, K, Ca) and micronutrient (Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu) concentrations of leaves and edible parts of three East African staple crops: Zea mays, Manihot esculenta, and Musa acuminata. Low phloem mobile nutrients Ca, Mn, Fe, Zn, and Cu showed the largest differences in correlations between leaves and edible parts. Perennial crops showed lower correlations between nutrient concentrations of leaves and edible parts than annuals. Leaves may provide information on plant health, however do not provide enough information to gauge both yields and food quality, particularly regarding micronutrients. Therefore, agricultural and nutritional scientists should harmonize methods to develop sustainable management options for increased food and nutrition security.
Fruits are micronutrient-rich sources which are often underrepresented in children’s diets. More insights into the determinants of children’s fruit consumption are needed to improve nutrition education in Teso South Sub-County, Kenya. A multiphase mixed method study was applied among 48 farm households with children 0–8 years of age. A market survey together with focus group discussions were used to design a formative research approach including qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The unavailability of fruits and the inability to plant fruit trees in the homesteads were the main challenges to improve fruit consumption behaviour, although a number of different fruit species were available on the market or in households. Perceived shortage of fruits, financial constraints to purchase fruits and taste were important barriers. Fruits as snacks given between meals was perceived as helpful to satisfy children. The mean number of fruit trees in the homesteads was positively associated with fruit consumption. Field trials are needed to test how best fruit trees within home gardens and on farms can be included, acknowledging limited space and constraints of households with young children. This should be combined with nutrition education programs addressing perceptions about the social and nutrient value of fruits for children.
This document presents a list of technical terms and indicators, which are frequently used in nutrition-agriculture research projects. Definitions for terms and indicators were sourced from the literature searching on the FAO, WHO and UNICEF websites, on websites from differ-ent CGIAR centres such as IFPRI and Bioversity International and in Google/ Google Scholar. All definitions are listed verbatim so that we did not use any quotation marks. Changes which were made for better understanding were highlighted with […].The list might be not exhaustive and as new terms might become relevant with time, we are keen to get any type of feedback and input with fur-ther terms and up-to-date definitions.
Inadequate child feeding practices remain a challenge in some sub-Saharan African countries despite various attempts to introduce age"=appropriate diets. This study aims at identifying facilitating and hindering factors to improve the consumption of fruits among children in Western Kenya. Trials of Improved practices (TIPs) were carried out from August-October 2019 in eight villages in Teso-South Sub-County, Kenya, targeting 53 households with children under eight years of age. The trials included three household visits with counselling to improve children's diets and to negotiate to test household specific recommendations. Interview guides were used to capture experiences and perceptions of the improved practices. The responses were analysed by performing a structuring qualitative content analysis using QDA-Software. Factors identified to facilitate fruit consumption among children included the availability of fruits or fruit seeds for planting, the influence and positive reactions of family members towards the practices, lifestyle and routines that enabled the mothers to be in charge herself as well as getting assistance. Further drivers were the perception of an easy implementation of the recommendation, the tastiness of the foods and the mother's experience with positive outcomes like a sustained satiety of the child or an increased food intake. The factors mentioned to hinder fruit consumption were the unavailability of fruits, partly due to seasonality or financial constraints, child's preferences, lifestyle and routines like time constraints or periods of sickness and perceptions towards the practices (unnecessary, not tasty). Unfavourable weather conditions, pests, and children uprooting seedlings hindered the planting of fruit trees within the homegardens. The unavailability of fruits and the inability to plant (more) fruit trees were the main challenges to enhance fruit consumption among children. Field trials are needed with less focus on yield of staple crops but testing on how best fruit trees within homegardens and on farms can be included to enhance fruit availability throughout the year.
Background Nutrition-sensitive agriculture and diverse diets have been identified as strategies for improving nutrition. EaTSANE will fill knowledge gaps on the interlinkages between consumption and production strategies, and the preconditions and incentives required for farmers to engage in diversified crop production. The project applies an integrated approach for innovation and capacity strengthening to facilitate systemic change in the food system. It aims to implement sustainable farming practices and improved diets of households in Kenya and Uganda, using a participatory action learning approach. Specific objectives • identifying and promoting improved farming practices for healthier soils and production of diverse, nutritious crops • improving access of value chain actors to inputs and services, and reducing food losses through improved handling and processing practices • enhancing consumers' food culture, resulting in healthier diets and more equitable distribution of food in households Our Approach: The researcher teams, together with farming communities, will co-create knowledge on the use of conservation agriculture practices for sustainable production of nutrient-rich and diverse food, improved soil fertility, on obstacles and opportunities for farmers to engage in diversified production, and improvement of households' food culture. The EaTSANE consortium complements its expertise across multiple research disciplines with extensive experience in communication and learning approaches, and stakeholder engagement for transdisciplinary research. Learning modules on sustainable farming practices and diversified diets will be developed and implemented with schools, young farmer clubs, education experts and national curriculum development centers. Opportunities and challenges Data from our previous research indicate challenges of low soil fertility, lack of knowledge on conservation agriculture and better food choices, inequitable food distribution in households , and limited access to affordable nutritious food. By establishing policy dialogue and stakeholder engagement throughout the project, EaTSANE will build on the existing structures and institutions in the project region and on a national level. Extension services, school programs and young farmers' clubs build a great opportunity for the project to engage and sustainably improve the food system.
Soil, inputs, and environmental factors such as weather control plant nutrient availability and nutrient content in food. Drought periods affect nutrient bioavailability. Nutrient transport within the plant and allocation of nutrients within organs of the plant is water dependent and therefore drought susceptible. This study compared Kapchorwa, Uganda and Teso South, Kenya that experienced drought during the second season in 2016. The main research questions were: (i) do droughts have an impact on the nutrient composition of food; (ii) is there a difference in nutrient concentrations in food based on their xylem or phloem mobility? Maize (Zea mays) grain (n = 62) and matooke (Musa acuminata) fruit samples (n = 90) in Kapchorwa, and maize grain (n = 61) and cassava (Manihot esculenta) tuber (n = 64) in Teso South were collected during a normal season (March–July) and drought season (October–December) in 2016. Crop samples were analysed using a pXRF for P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was calculated using TAMSAT database to compare drought intensities. The drought in Kapchorwa (SPI: −1.14 to −0.32) was severer and began 2 months prior to Teso South (SPI: 0.09 to 0.55). Nutrient concentration in Kapchorwa decreased significantly from normal to drought in both crops. In contrast, during the moderate drought in Teso South, nutrient concentrations increased significantly. Lacking nutrient phloem mobility is suggested to play a vital role in mobilisation of micronutrients (Fe, Mn, and Cu) as shown by their decreased concentration under severe drought in the yield. Total nutrients assimilated in crop samples were significantly higher in the normal than the drought for almost all samples. Micronutrients and yields during drought were strongly affected, leading to a double-burden for consumers through affected quantity and quality. Future research considerations should particularly include the focus on potential nutrient increases during mild drought.