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Group-based approaches to nutrition-sensitive agriculture: insights from a post-project sustainability study in Côte d’Ivoire

Stella Nordhagen () and Abdoulaye Traoré
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Stella Nordhagen: Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
Abdoulaye Traoré: Université Félix-Houphouët Boigny

Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, 2022, vol. 14, issue 2, No 3, 337-353

Abstract: Abstract There has been considerable interest over the past decade in using nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) to improve food security and nutrition in low- and middle-income countries, partly due to potentially greater long-term durability of impact compared to nutrition-specific interventions. Group-based approaches to NSA may have particular benefits in terms of increased efficiency and economies of scale. However, very little is known about such approaches’ sustainability—that is, the continued application of promoted practices and activities beyond the initial intervention. This study examines the sustainability of an NGO-sponsored women’s group-based NSA project in Côte d’Ivoire 18 months after project end. We assess the functionality and productivity of a set of gardening and poultry-rearing groups and factors that either enabled or obstructed them from continuing their activities. Quantitative and qualitative fieldwork was undertaken, including a survey of former project participants (n = 277), direct observations at facilities for growing vegetables and raising poultry (n = 12; n = 11), and semi-structured interviews with group members and leaders (n = 48). Results show that the studied gardening groups remained functional, with high rates of membership but lower productivity, production value, and crop diversity. Village-level poultry activities, however, had ended in 9 of 12 villages studied, due to mortality and limited expertise; in the remaining two, they had decreased in scale and productivity. Across both gardening and poultry-rearing, there was a shift from collective to individual approaches to production and towards more marketable products, away from the nutrient-dense ones promoted by the project. Implications for design of future NSA initiatives are discussed.

Keywords: Collective agriculture; Gardening; Poultry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s12571-021-01229-w

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