The Impact of Local Agrobiodiversity and Food Interventions on Cost, Nutritional Adequacy, and Affordability of Women and Children's Diet in Northern Kenya: A Modeling Exercise
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17499
Wild plant species are often excellent sources of micronutrients and have the potential to promote healthy living, yet they are under-exploited. Distribution of micronutrient powders as diet supplements can play an effective role in reducing micronutrient deficiencies among infants and young children. However, assessing their effects in ensuring a nutritious diet at low cost have been limited. This study assessed the impact of including wild plant species and micronutrient powders in modeled optimized lowest-cost diets for women and children in rural Kenya. Market surveys, focus group discussions in six villages and a 24-h dietary intake recall were used to collect data that were subsequently entered in the cost of diet linear programming tool to model lowest-cost nutritious diets for women and children in Turkana County, Kenya. Three wild vegetables, three wild fruits, and micronutrient powder were added to the models to assess their impact on the cost and the nutrient adequacy of the diets. A locally adapted cost optimized nutritious diet without any intervention costs between 50 and 119 Kenyan shillings (KES) daily ($0.5 to $1.2) for children between 6 and 23 months and 173 to 305 KES ($1.8 to $2.9) for women. Addition of the three wild vegetables resulted in cost reductions between 30 and 71% as well as making up for iron and zinc gaps. The micronutrient powder had an insignificant effect on diet cost and filling nutrient gaps. Edible wild plant species, specifically wild vegetables, can reduce diet costs in considerable proportions while filling nutrient gaps year-round. However, affordability of a nutritious diet remains a major challenge in Turkana County, irrespective of the wealth group.
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