Value chain analysis in India to identify nutrition-sensitive interventions for improved maternal diets in India

Value chain analysis in India to identify nutrition-sensitive interventions for improved maternal diets in India

Micronutrient insufficiencies are a serious public health problem among women of reproductive age in Low and Middle Income Countries including India, adversely affecting maternal health and economic productivity, and child growth and educational outcomes. Fruit and vegetables are important sources of micronutrients and consumption of these foods is lower than recommendations. Value chain analysis involves understanding how actors (farmers/ producers, wholesalers and vendors) make decisions about what produce they grow and sell. It can be employed to improve nutrition by identifying constraints to the supply and demand of healthful foods and developing interventions to address these constraints.

The University of Southampton undertook a study titled Identifying nutrition-sensitive interventions to improve maternal diet quality in rural Indian settings using value chain analysis supported by the Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) consortium awarded from the Call for Proposals under LANSA’s first Responsive Window opportunity. The study aims to develop an interdisciplinary framework linking value chain activities to nutrition in rural Maharashtra.

Recommendations for future action:

The findings of this research are qualitative and hypothesis generating. In order to prioritise interventions, quantitative survey data would be useful. Recommendations for future research and interventions is to reduce supply and demand constraints. Some
suggestions for future interventions are:

  • changing perceptions of indigenous vegetables
  • more equitable division of food and workload within the household
  • increased awareness of the importance of including fruits and vegetables in daily diet through information, education and communication material shared in schools, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Self-Help Groups and community-based organisations
  • support for vendors to sell locally
  • re-distribution of risk within the value chain
  • initiatives to increase awareness and effective implementation of insurance for farmers against crop failures at block and panchayat levels
  • improved storage infrastructure to improve shelf-life

 

 

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