The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Contribution of Nutrient Diversity and Food Perceptions to Food and Nutrition Security Among Smallholder Farming Households in Western Kenya: A Case Study

Ng'endo, Mary; Bhagwat, Shonil and Keding, Gudrun B (2018). Contribution of Nutrient Diversity and Food Perceptions to Food and Nutrition Security Among Smallholder Farming Households in Western Kenya: A Case Study. Food and nutrition bulletin, 39(1) pp. 86–106.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572117723135
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Background:
Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where hunger is prevalent in over one-third of the population, with smallholder farming households, producers of over 80% of Africa’s food, facing both calorie and micronutrient deficiencies. With agricultural systems serving as the main source of all nutrients, little is known about the extent to which agricultural diversity in different seasons can meet macro- and micronutrient needs in rural Africa.

Objective:
Linkages between nutrient diversity and food species were investigated.

Methods:
A case study was conducted in Western Kenya to assess the seasonal nutrient diversity, seasonal nutrient accessibility levels, and food perceptions in 30 smallholder farms, 7 markets, and among 97 focus group discussion participants, respectively. All present food plant and animal species were inventoried and assigned to 1 of the 7 major Food and Agriculture Organization–defined food groups. Based on 2 macronutrients and 5 micronutrients, dendrogram-based nutrient functional diversity metrics were calculated.

Results:
On-farm and market food species offered all 7 macro- and micronutrients under investigation, regardless of seasonal variation in species numbers. Although there were varying seasonal nutrient accessibility levels in markets, farms were especially effective in readily availing 4 of the 7 nutrients. However, the main food shortage months coincided only with maize shortage, but a diversity of local foods, deemed to be of low cultural and culinary preferences, were available.

Conclusions:
Nutrition education on the importance of a diversity of local foods in meeting dietary needs, thus stimulating the demand side, can contribute to achieving year-round household food security.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Author(s)
ISSN: 1564-8265
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Bioversity International, Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa, Nairobi, KenyaNot SetFederal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany
Keywords: food and nutrition security, food perception, functional diversity, seasonal food access, seasonal food availability
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 52020
SWORD Depositor: Jisc Publications-Router
Depositing User: Jisc Publications-Router
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 08:53
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 09:49
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/52020
Share this page:

Metrics

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU