Delivery of iron-fortified yoghurt, through a dairy value chain program
This article (PDF) in the PLoS ONE Journal discusses value chain approaches as innovative strategies to enhance the nutritional impact of agriculture. These approaches use supply chains to add value (usually economic) to products as they move from producers to consumers. However, they can also be used to increase access to nutritious foods and improve nutritional status. This study tested whether a dairy value chain could be used to distribute a micronutrient-fortified yoghurt (MNFY) to improve hemoglobin (Hb) and reduce anemia among preschool children in a remote area in Northern Senegal. A cluster randomized control trial was used to compare 204 children (24 to 59 months of age at baseline) from households who received the MNFY coupled to a behavior change communication (BCC) campaign focusing on anemia prevention to 245 children from a control group (receiving BCC only) after one year. The dairy value chain was a successful strategy to distribute MNFY among pastoralists in Northern Senegal, and increase Hb concentrations among their children. This study is one of the first proofs of concept showing that a nutrition-sensitive agriculture value chain approach can contribute to improved child nutrition in a remote pastoralist population.
The issue of nutrition-sensitive value chains was also discussed during the ARF workshop in Benin on enhancing research impact for food security.