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Vitamin A Intakes Remain Higher Among Intervention Participants Three Years After a Biofortification Intervention in Mozambique

  • Alan de Brauw (a1), Mourad Moursi (a2) and A. Bernardinho Munhaua (a3)

Abstract

The Reaching End Users project introduced orange sweet potatoes to farmers in northern Mozambique between 2006 and 2009, and the associated cluster randomized control trial found increased vitamin A intakes among targeted children and women of child-bearing age and reduced prevalence of vitamin A intake inadequacy. Yet little is known about whether successful agricultural-nutrition interventions have lasting effects. This study measures the lasting effects of the Reaching End Users project, three years after the project ended, on vitamin A intakes. To do so, dietary intake data were collected in the same 36 villages as the original study, focusing on both women of child-bearing age and children under 6 years old, the latter including both children who had been measured before as well as younger children (under 3 years old) in the same farmer groups. The dietary intakes are then converted to micronutrient intakes to compare treated households with control households. Vitamin A intakes remain higher in treated villages than in control villages among both children under 3 years old, who had not been born when the original intervention ended, and among mothers of child-bearing age. Differences in vitamin A intakes can wholly be attributed to differences in orange sweet potato intakes. Therefore the Reaching End Users project appears to have had lasting impacts on vitamin A intakes beyond the intervention period. Had the vine retention component been enhanced, lasting impacts could have been even larger.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

1Correspondence to: a.debrauw@cgiar.org. Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, 1201 Eye St NW, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: +1-202-862-5698

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