On Tuesday, January 12th, at 2.30pm, the NOVAFRICA Center welcomes Rute Martins Caeiro, from the Nova School of Business and Economics to present her work on vitamin A deficiency and the promotion of the consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato.
Rute Martins Caeiro, Pedro C. Vicente
Vitamin A deficiency is a widespread public health problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper analyzes the impact of an intervention fighting vitamin A deficiency through the promotion of the consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP). We conducted a randomized evaluation of OFSP-related training to female farmers in Mozambique, who were also the primary caretakers of pre-school children. The treatment consisted of group and individual-level training where basic knowledge about nutrition was taught, and planting and cooking skills related specifically to OFSP were developed. We found encouraging evidence of adoption of OFSP for production in the short and medium-run, but only marginally significant improvements in our measures of consumption of OFSP. The treatment led to gains in child nutrition status less than one year and a half after the treatment was administered, identified by improvements in weight-for-age and height-for-age Z-score. Lastly, we also found considerable increases in nutrition-related knowledge, as well as knowledge about cooking and planting OFSP.