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Doctoral Degrees (Food Security)

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    The utilization of amaranthus leaf powder to supplement ujeqe (steamed bread) wheat flour for the alleviation of food and nutrition insecurity in Empangeni South Africa.
    (2023) Olusanya, Ruth Nachamada.; Unathi, Kolanisi.; Ngobese, Nomali Ziphorah.; Mayashree, Chinsamy.
    Malnutrition persists in many developing countries, leading to an increased concern in the farming sector to deliver at least 70% of food to feed 40% of the anticipated global population of nine billion persons by the year 2050. Such projections call for a keen interest in studies that explore underutilised edible crops for food and nutrition security of the world’s growing population. Malnutrition of all forms including micronutrient deficiencies, “called hidden hunger”, is currently an issue of concern. About 870 million people across the globe are unable to access sufficient nutritious food that optimises dietary needs. Also, 98% of this hungry population live in the developing countries, where 15% of the population is undernourished, Susceptible persons to malnutrition identified include infants, young children, and young women of childbearing age. The impact of malnutrition impairs children’s vision at an early age, slows down cognitive development and retards general development. All forms of malnutrition are nutrient-related preventable challenges; however, it is identified as the leading factor to most morbidity and mortality rates; which limits the livelihoods of many individuals especially smallholder farmers who are residents in informal settlements of urban centres and rural communities. A food-based approach where available nutrient-dense food is incorporated as an ingredient in staple food has been identified as a good strategy to tackle malnutrition. Amaranthus is an ancient C4 plant, a drought tolerant plant that requires little attention yet maximum yield; with huge potential to provide food for nutrition security. Adequate nutrition, at the household level, is indispensable for the proper functioning of the human system and well-being. However, most marginalised, and less privileged people often follow a monotonous starchy/cereal-based diet as this is the available food to fall back on. Extensive studies have shown that about 30 000 varieties of edible plants are dispersed around the world. These plants are cheap, accessible, and highly endowed with medicinal and nutritional benefits. However, only 7000 have been utilised as food while others are underutilised including Amaranthus. It is perceived that most people harvesting Amaranthus leaves for food are the most disadvantaged and marginalised in the rural communities, thus preference issues, perceptions and stigma are linked to Amaranthus underutilisation. Amaranthus seeds have been investigated as enhancers of staple foods. Similarly, leaves of Amaranthus have been identified with great potential to enhance the nutritional value of staple foods for improved nutrition security, optimizing well-being, and improving livelihoods. However, Amaranthus leaves are yet to be explored as a supplement in many traditional foods, including Ujeqe. Online databases of peer-reviewed articles and books were reviewed around the nomenclature, nutritional, and nutraceutical value and objectives were conceived for this study. A mix design (qualitative and quantitative) research method was adopted and a purposive convenience random sampling approach was utilised for the study. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools such as transact walks, observation and key informant interviews were conducted. Semi-structured open-ended questionnaires were used to conduct a series of face-to-face interview with six key informants in five markets (n = 30) from urban and rural formal and informal markets where commonly sold/consumed varieties of Amaranthus were identified. Semi-structured questionnaires (100) were administered to gather data around the utilisation of Ujeqe and Amaranthus leaves as potential food for improved nutrition security. A clustered data of (91) respondents was analysed, using descriptive content analysis. The findings of the survey show that Ujeqe is consumed as a meal or as a snack by all people except babies. Also, it is a special meal well appreciated for its simplicity of ingredients and the mode of preparation thus, it is a convenient food that can be served at any time of the day, even in ceremonies, religious functions, and traditional worship of ancestors. Ujeqe’s complementary foods that were identified included legumes and protein-rich foods of animal origin including Usu which are less accessible to the less-privileged hence, some consume it alone as a snack or as a single food. Studies have shown that cereal-based foods without vegetables and fruits are inadequate for optimum well-being because they are lacking/limited in essential nutrients. Amaranthus plants have been investigated as food plant with essential nutrient. Its grains have been used as fortificants, but the leaves have been neglected and its application in Ujeqe steamed bread (USB) is rarely reported in the literature. Amaranthus seeds have been processed into flour and used as food fortificants in staple food. However, the processing of Amaranthus leaves is still very low. Thus, the most common species of Amaranthus grown and sold in formal and informal market in the study site (Amaranthus dubius) was sourced and self-processed into Amaranthus leaf powder (ALP) under a controlled food laboratory environment. The ALP was analysed for macro and micronutrients and utilised to develop 0%, 2%, 4% and 6% prototypes of ALP supplemented Ujeqe which was analysed for macronutrient and micronutrient content. The sensory attributes of ALP supplemented Ujeqe were evaluated using 60 untrained panellists. Moisture content of plain wheat flour (PWF) and ALP in the range 10.6-4.41g; were within the quality shelf-life before usage. The carbohydrate for this study (41.6-74.3g) and fat (1.58- 4.47g) were higher in both raw materials for the study (ALP and PWF). Likewise, the ash (2.37-17.97g) and protein (11.96-31.56g) were recorded as higher in the raw materials for the study. The micronutrient content of the raw materials showed that ALP had a higher nutritional composition than PWF with a statistically significant difference at p < 0.05. Mineral content of calcium was (30.00-2600mg), magnesium (40-120mg), zinc (3.267-7.068mg), copper (1.00- 17.34mg) manganese (1.434-3.00mg) and iron (7.200-24.00mg). The moisture of the ALP enriched Ujeqe prototypes was low, connoting a keeping quality of the shelf-life of the enriched ALP Ujeqe food products. All the macronutrient nutrients of ALP supplemented Ujeqe (Table 3) were enhanced with increased concentration of ALP. The enrichment was noted in the ash content of the 2% (2.2-0.0g), 4% (2.05-0.01g) and 6% prototypes (2.31-0.03g) respectively, with a statistically significant difference at p < 0.05. Likewise, levels of copper, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, manganese, and iron were recorded. All supplemented Ujeqe were enriched in nutrient content. The sensory evaluation indicated that all samples were acceptable. The 6% ALP Ujeqe prototype was the most enriched, but the 2% sample was the most acceptable prototype compared to the control sample followed by 4% and 6% respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in the overall consumer acceptability level of the enriched sample when compared with 0%, 2% and 4% ALP supplemented prototypes. The ALP supplemented Ujeqe was enhanced both in macro and micronutrients. The high ash content of the food samples in this study connotes ALP-supplemented sample richness in mineral content. The mineral content of the raw material, ALP was significantly higher than PWF, supplemented Ujeqe with 6% ALP containing the highest mineral content. Hence, from the nutritional point of view, the formulation was enriched significantly in some selected mineral content. Therefore, ALP supplementation in staple foods like Ujeqe can be a potential foodbased approach that is cost-effective and a sustainable measure for addressing food and nutrition insecurity, especially among the malnourished population. Fibre was not analysed in this study. Thus, future studies can explore ALP-supplemented Ujeqe’s fibre content and microbial tests can be carried out to determine its shelf stability. Continuous research around underutilised food plants including Amaranthus for food and nutrition security can be explored in other staple foods as viable measures to tackle nutrition security. Also, the need for effective implementation of relevant research to help in the domestication of Amaranthus cannot be overemphasised. Thus, improving the small-scale farming of Amaranthus to a larger scale appears to be a realistic way forward. Therefore, the South African government should assist small-scale farmers of Amaranthus with all the extension services needed as this may enhance their productivity and provide food and nutrition security for the community. Similarly, policymakers should consider the provision of land, finance, fertiliser, seeds, herbicides, fences, insecticides, and grants to encourage farmers to plant leafy vegetable foods like Amaranthus for nutrition security. Enhancing small-scale farmer’s capital should involve financial support from the government and the provision of land.
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    Access to irrigation and its impact on vulnerability to poverty and food security amongst South African farming households.
    (2023) Adetoro, Adetoso Adebiyi.; Ngidi, Mjabuliseni Simon Cloapas.; Danso-Abbeam, Gideon.
    The significance of participating in irrigation technology in eliminating vulnerability to poverty and improving farming households’ food security status cannot be overemphasized. Numerous studies have empirically examined the influence of farm management practices, including irrigation, on poverty reduction and overall household well-being. However, a notable gap exists in the literature concerning the specific impact of irrigation farming on vulnerability to poverty, multidimensional household poverty, and the welfare of rural farming households. This study aims to address this gap by exploring the nuanced relationship between irrigation participation and key welfare indicators within the context of rural communities. The study consists of four main objectives, each of which is an article and chapter of this thesis. In each of the articles, the significance, methods, data, findings and policy implications are detailed, and these are presented in the below sections. In the first objective, the study employed the documentary analysis approach and bibliometric technique to mine and analyse relevant documents for evaluating facts and evidence, which largely concurs with the method of information gathering used in the qualitative study method. In the analysis period (1991-2022), the most published articles on impacts of irrigation on household poverty appeared to be in 2022, indicating the growing concern on depleting food resource access. Overall, the findings revealed that irrigation adoption produced better yields and increased farm incomes thereby reducing rural household poverty as well as vulnerability to poverty. The study, therefore, suggests that more sophisticated and innovative methods, such as the proposed multi-level framework, conglomerate approach, and community-led solutions, should be developed and implemented to promote household food dynamics, food system resilience, and governance in the context of South Africa. The second segment of the research focuses on the effect of participation in irrigation farming on food security among rural farming households. The study employed an endogenous treatment effect with ordered outcome to achieve its objectives. The empirical findings indicate that the engagement of rural households in irrigation farming has a higher probability of mitigating food insecurity. This is attributed to the enhanced productivity and improved food accessibility that irrigation farming provides, particularly in the face of severe weather-induced shocks like drought. The findings also showed that the gender of the household head, the size of the household, unemployment status, access to market outlets, remittances and crop diversification (CDV) factors increase the likelihood of rural farmers’ involvement in irrigation farming, as well as reduces their food insecurity. Based on the findings, the study suggested that government intervention policies and a restructuring of rural operations to include more technological innovations such as advanced irrigation systems be reviewed. The third segment of the study focuses on the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to multidimensional poverty, which was carried out using the Alkire Foster multidimensional poverty index developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. The findings showed that the deprivation indicator ranges from 5% to 90%, where about 66% and 55% were deprived of food security (SDG2) and education (SDG4), respectively. The results of the probit analysis reveal that gender, remittances, crop diversification (CDV), education, seasonal farming and market outlets significantly influence the multidimensional poverty and vulnerability to multidimensional poverty of rural households in the study areas. The last part of the study examines the factors that influence farmers’ participation in irrigation farming, as well as how it affects farmers’ welfare (proxy by food consumption expenditure per capita) and household poverty (indicated by the poverty gap index, poverty severity and poverty vulnerability). The endogenous switching regression (ESR) model was employed to account for selection bias that could be caused by both observed and unobserved household factors, including observed and unobserved farm-level factors. The empirical results show that gender, household size, educational attainment, crop diversification and market outlets, among others, influenced farmers’ decisions to practise irrigation farming. Farmers engaging in irrigation farming have their food consumption per capita increased by 44%, while nonparticipants would have increased their consumption expenditure per capita by 23% if they had participated. Moreover, the participating farmers reduced their poverty gap index by 20% and poverty severity by 22%, whereas non-participating farmers could have reduced their poverty gap index and poverty severity by 5% and 17%, respectively had they engaged in irrigation farming. Participation in irrigation farming also reduced poverty vulnerability by 25%, while non-participants may have reduced poverty vulnerability by 3% had they participated. Overall, the study suggests that the household food dynamics and food system resilience and governance in the context of South Africa need to devote more time to reliable and innovative methods, such as the conglomerate approach, community-led solutions and appropriate strategies, which need to be implemented in order to mitigate the collapse of the nation’s food systems. In addition, the study recommend that enhancing farmers’ access to irrigation is crucial for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to eradicate poverty in all its manifestations everywhere. Lastly, the study suggests that improving policies related to improving education and increasing crop diversification among other factors, could contribute to reducing the multidimensional poverty and the households’ vulnerability to poverty.
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    Exploring the youth-agriculture nexus: implications on household food security and livelihoods.
    (2023) Mukwedeya, Bright Takudzwa.; Mudhara, Maxwell.
    The youth-agriculture nexus in Africa is critical to food and nutrition security, employment and livelihoods at multiple scales through multiple pathways. The Zimbabwean government, like several other African governments enacted policies and interventions to harness this opportunity. Despite the government's efforts, getting youth attracted or interested in agriculture has been a challenge while success has been elusive. The information gaps characterising most of Africa's policy environment are contributing to the failure of most youth policies and interventions. Robust and compelling evidence on the intersection of youth and agriculture is lacking. It is against this background that the study explores the youth-agriculture nexus and its implications on household food security and livelihoods. The study's specific objectives include determining the factors affecting rural youth participation in agriculture; examining the factors influencing migration willingness and choice of destination; determining the factors affecting life satisfaction and lastly; examining the factors influencing livelihood choice and food security among youth. The study examines the youth-agriculture intersection from various disciplines, considering noncognitive, demographic, social and economic factors. This is because of the complex and multi-dimensional nature of the youth-agriculture nexus. A pre-tested structured questionnaire collected data from 200 youths across three districts of Mashonaland East Province in Zimbabwe. Various econometric techniques of discrete choice and descriptive statistics analysed the data. The rights to anonymity, informed consent, and confidentiality were upheld to make the study ethical. The descriptive statistics show that most of the youth were males, household heads, unemployed, married, looking for a job and have a secondary level of education. Also, the results show that most of the youth in the study were food insecure, dissatisfied with their lives and willing to engage in migration. The study sheds light on the importance of noncognitive factors (expectancy and subjective task value) in understanding the youth-agriculture nexus. The results reveal that expectancy, utility and intrinsic value and cost statistically significantly influences youth career decisions and life outcomes. It follows that youth with expectancy, intrinsic or utility value engage and spent more hours in agriculture. Further, youth with utility or intrinsic value have high life satisfaction compared to their counterparts without utility or intrinsic value. The study also reveals that traditional factors such as age, marital status, level of education, access to land, household size and employment status statistically significantly influence youth career decisions and life outcomes. The study concludes that both noncognitive and traditional factors are critical in understanding youth career decisions and life outcomes and combined can provide a holistic and better understanding of the youth-agriculture nexus. In line with the literature, the future of agriculture and food security in rural Zimbabwe is uncertain. The results reveal that most of the youth are leaving or losing interest in agriculture. In the study, over 70 percent of the youth expressed low interest in engaging in the sector in the coming years. Second, a relatively high number of youths were willing to migrate. The results show that 69 percent of the youth in the study were willing to engage in migration. Last, low life satisfaction was a general characteristic among the youth. Over 60 percent of the youth in the study expressed dissatisfaction with their lives. Further, the study reveals a shift in some youth narratives in agriculture. First, a significant number of youths in the study opted for non-agricultural livelihoods over agriculture. Second, international migration has accelerated in rural Zimbabwe. Thus, rural migration is no longer limited to internal migration as many youths opted to engage in international migration. With a shift in youth narratives and uncertainty in agriculture and food insecurity in rural Zimbabwe, the study recommends the integration of noncognitive factors in policy decisions. Further, the study suggests the adoption of an interdisciplinary approach to the design of youth policies and interventions in agriculture. Also, the study recommends the need to set up multi-stakeholder platforms in policy decisions, planning and investment. Last, policy priority should focus on closing the large disparities between urban and rural Zimbabwe in terms of social services such as education, credit and communication.
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    Impact of crop productivity and market participation on rural households’ food and nutrition security status: the case of Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, South Africa.
    (2022) Hlatshwayo, Simphiwe Innocentia.; Ngidi, Mjabuliseni Simon Cloapas.; Modi, Albert Thembinkosi.; Temitope, Olumuyiwa Ojo.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe.
    The agricultural sector has proven to be the backbone of improving rural households’ food security and livelihoods in developing countries. However, the sector faces numerous challenges, such as insufficient access to technology, institutional difficulties, inappropriate policies, poor infrastructure, and unsuccessful links to the markets, making it difficult for smallholder farmers to participate in the formal market sector. Smallholder farmers in South Africa are still trapped in low-productivity traditional technologies that have a negative impact on output and livelihoods. Low agricultural productivity and lack of market access threaten the efforts of alleviating poverty and improving food security. The study's main objective is to analyse the impact of crop productivity and market participation on rural households’ food and nutrition. The specific objectives were to assess the determinants and intensity of market participation among smallholder farmers; estimate the impact of market participation on the food and nutrition security status of the smallholder farmers; analyse the factors affecting crop productivity among smallholder farmers, and evaluate the effect of crop productivity on household food and nutrition security status in the study area. The study used secondary data, which was collected from a total of 1520 respondents who were selected through stratified random sampling. The study focused on two provinces (Mpumalanga and Limpopo) in South Africa, based on the predominance of smallholder farmers. While assessing the determinants and intensity of market participation among smallholder farmers, the results of the DH estimation model show that the gender of the household head, family member working on the farm, wealth index, and agricultural assistance, age of household head and family member with HIV were statistically significant factors influencing market participation. The result from the second hurdle showed that the perceived intensity of market participation was influenced by marital status, educational level of the household head, wealth index, access to agricultural assistance, household size, household age, and family member with HIV. The study also analysed the effect of market participation on the food security of smallholder farmers. The household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS) results revealed that out of the total sample size, 85% of the households were food insecure while 15% were food secure. The gender of the household head, receiving social grants, wealth index, and having a family member with HIV significantly influenced farmers’ market participation. The results of the extended ordered probit regression model showed that household size, having a family member with HIV, agricultural assistance, educational level of household head, ownership of livestock, age of household head, gender of household head, and having access to social grants variables were statistically influencing the food insecurity situation of smallholder farmers. The Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) showed that in the overall sampled population, 57% of smallholder farmers had the highest dietary diversity, followed by medium dietary diversity (25%), and the lowest dietary diversity was 18%. The t-test results showed that farmers who participated in the market enjoyed higher HDDS than those who did not participate in the market. The Food Consumption Score (FCS) showed that in the overall population, the acceptable FCS was 54%, followed by a borderline food consumption score of 30%, and the poor food consumption score was the least at 16%. The gender of the household head, receiving social grants, and the wealth index significantly influenced farmers’ market participation. The results from Poisson endogenous treatment effect model showed that the nutrition status of smallholder farmers was statistically influenced by agricultural assistance, access to market information, household size, ownership of livestock, access to social grants, wealth index, and involvement in crop production variables. The result from the ordered logistic regression model showed that household size had a negative and significant impact on the food consumption score of smallholder farmers. Gender of household head, irrigation type, social grant, and amount harvested had a positive and significant effect on the food consumption score of smallholder farmers. The results from the Tobit regression model showed crop productivity of smallholder farmers was significantly influenced by the gender of the household head, irrigation system, a family member with HIV, involvement in crop production, access to agricultural assistance, and wealth index of smallholder farmers variables. Lastly, the study determined the impact of crop productivity on household food and nutrition security status in the study areas. The results from the CMP model showed that ownership of livestock, harvest, disability in the family, household size, and gender statistically influenced the food (in)security of smallholder farmers. The results also showed that social grants, agricultural assistance, harvest, and household size significantly impacted the nutrition status of smallholder farmers. The results from this study support the findings of many previous studies conducted in developing countries and show that more intervention is still needed. It is recommended that government, researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders work together to close the existing gaps between research, policies, programmes, and extension services directed to smallholder farmers. This will help to improve crop productivity and market participation of smallholder farmers, which will, in turn, enhance their food and nutrition security.
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    The status of food and nutrition security policies and institutional framework in Eswatini.
    (2022) Simelane, Kwanele Siyabonga.; Worth, Steven Hugh.
    Overview of this paper Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) has a number of components in it; institutions, policies, programs, and projects. This research looked at all of these and the relationship to one another. Hence this dissertation will first present the FNS theory and its framework, the role of multistakeholder engagement in FNS, policy analysis theory in the context of FNS, and the policy framework and institutional set up for FNS in Eswatini. Further, challenges and recommendations raised by key informants will also be covered. The findings, discussions and recommendations arising from the results shall also be presented. Objective To assess the policy and the institutional set up for FNS in Eswatini in order to identify existing policy challenges and recommendations. Methods This is a qualitative study that involved interviews with key informants who were selected by non-probability expert sampling from among twenty institutions with direct or indirect connections to FNS in Eswatini. The methodology of this research involved assessment of deep insight of the multi-sectoral approach used to implement food and nutrition security activities from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, Academia, UN Agencies, Civil Society, and Non-Governmental Organization. The crucial sector policies, and strategic plans, and annual reports were studied so as to determine the effectiveness in participation in relation to functionality in the coordination of multi-sectoral or inter-sectoral activities. These documents (policies and strategic plans) were in current governance structures. This dissertation starts by introducing the research with a theory paper that defines the two key concepts ‘Food security and Nutrition security’. This was critical as it highlighted the knowledge gap regarding the uniqueness, yet equal importance of each of these concepts in policy development and implementation and the interrelation between them. It also sets the stage for the thesis. The next step was to try to elucidate the multi-stakeholder nature of food security and nutrition security dynamics and how these stakeholders are meant to function seamlessly to achieve food security and nutrition security simultaneously without scarifying one concept over the other. This is important because resources and expertise are not always centralized in one institutions, hence they must be coordinated by a superior body like the central government which has a mandate to do public good. Another critical step was to define policy and the general stages of policy development, and to define the policy analysis process in the context of food and nutrition security. This is vital because analysis can be of policy or for policy. Hence, one has to know how to analyse the situation for policy to be developed precisely for the existing problem or be reviewed to tackle arising issues which were not there at its inception. Based on these basic theory papers, the research project was designed and implemented to examine the status of food and nutrition security policies and the related institutional framework in Eswatini. The intent of the research was to offer recommendations based on the findings of the study. Results and findings The study found that there are a number of FNS-related policies that are used by various government ministries including the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, the Deputy Prime Minister’s office, and other partners. Unfortunately, there is little coordination and inclusivity in developing and implementing these policies such that the FNS issues of key populations like women, and youth are not adequately tackled by these policies. The FNS-specific policies are mainly held in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health. The other entities facilitate a supporting role of the policies and programs held in these two institutions. The dispersed nature of FNS policy implementation by institutions makes the implementation ad hoc and disjointed resulting in the difficulty to track progress and coverage. Conclusion FNS is a central concern to public health in Eswatini as it influences child growth and development and affects children’s potential contribution to economic growth at adulthood in the long term. One key issue is the pernicious cycle of chronic malnutrition that persists for several generations. FNS cuts across multiple stakeholders, ranging from government ministries, NGOs, civil society, and international development bodies. As such, they require a thorough coordination by a superior body with authority to convene all relevant stakeholders. This body can enforce accountability from all stakeholders on resources assigned to them either by the government, or development partners. This will help facilitate timely and inclusive policy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and review of policy, minimizing waste of resources and maximizing efficient use of available resources. Recommendation Based on the final conclusions, policy makers may consider assigning a FNS coordinating body operating at the highest level of government which have authority to summon all key FNS stakeholder to strategize collaboratively on developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating FNS policy. This body could also coordinate collecting, analysing and interpreting FNS-related data for monitoring and evaluation. Enablers and barriers to achieving FNS will also be collectively documented to be used as reference for future improvement of policy development and implementation including development of comprehensive and coherent strategies and plans to fill in policy and service provision gaps, remove existing hindrances, and intensify FNS enablers.
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    Climate change and variability effects on inland fisheries: Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe.
    Muringai, Rodney Tatenda.; Mafongoya, Paramu L.; Lottering, Romano Trent.
    African inland freshwater fisheries support the livelihoods of more than 12,3 million people, and fish is the main or only source of animal protein for approximately 200 million people or 20% of the African population. Several studies indicate that fish productivity and catch in freshwater ecosystems in Africa are declining because of stressors such as overfishing, pollution, illegal fishing, bad management, and climate change. Several researchers concur that climate change is one of the most significant stressor threatening fisheries as it interacts with and amplifies existing stressors. Fish resources are climate-sensitive, therefore, changes in climatic conditions, particularly temperature and rainfall, alter the fish's chemical and physiological processes, consequently affecting the livelihoods and food security of fishery-dependent communities. Several empirical studies have been conducted to demonstrate the impacts of climate change and variability on fish production in African inland freshwater fisheries, including Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. However, there is a paucity of information on the impacts of climate change and variability on fishery-dependent communities on the shoreline of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. To address the knowledge gap, this study investigated the effects of climate change on inland freshwater fisheries in two major fishing districts found along the shoreline of Lake Kariba namely Binga and Kariba/Nyaminyami Rural Districts in Zimbabwe. The study assessed the vulnerability of small-scale fishers and fishery resources to the effects of climate change and the fisher’s perceptions of climate change. In addition, the fisher’s adaptation strategies and the barriers and limits to adaptation were identified. Lastly, the study recommended strategies that can be adopted to build the resilience of freshwater fisheries to the probable effects of climate change. The study employed a mixed-method research approach to collect data. Primary data were collected from small-scale fishers and key informants using a semi-structured questionnaire and focus group discussions, and secondary data of climate variables were obtained from the Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe. The data were subjected to different statistical analyses using IBM SPSS Statistics 27 and Microsoft Excel.Study findings indicate that small-scale fishers of Lake Kariba are aware of the climate change phenomenon. Most fishers indicated that the temperatures have increased (83.8%), rainfall decreased (73.6%) and the occurrence of extreme weather events such as droughts (56.9%) and floods (63.1%), has also increased in their respective areas. Fishers believe that the changing climatic conditions have adversely affected fish productivity and their fish catches, resulting in fishers employing several strategies to adapt to the changing environment and declining fish catches. These strategies include, but are not limited to, changing fishing gear, targeting new species, increasing fishing effort and days, adopting alternative livelihood strategies and migrating to a different fishing camp or village. A multinomial logistic regression model indicated that the fisher’s experience positively and significantly influenced the adoption of all adaptation strategies except livelihood diversification. The Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI) shows that fishing communities in the Kariba district are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than those in the Binga district, due to their lower adaptive capacity and marginalisation of fishing communities in the Kariba district. High dependency on climate-sensitive resources as the main livelihoods increased the sensitivity of the fishing communities to the impacts of climate change. Findings indicated that the fisher’s ability to adapt to a changing environment and declining fisher resources was hindered by several factors such as fishing regulations, a lack of access to basic services, and institutions, lack of technologies, ecological limits and natural limits. Therefore, to build or strengthen the resilience of the fisheries sector in Lake Kariba, fisheries managers, the government, agents of development, non-governmental organisations and the resource users should ensure effective lake co-management, increase fishers' access to early warning systems, ensure stakeholder participation in decision-making processes, education and raise awareness, provide aid and basic services, conduct fish stocks assessments and formulate pro-sustainable fisheries policies. This study contributed empirical evidence to current debates in the literature on the impacts of climate change on fishing communities, by enhancing an understanding of the characteristics and determinants of fishing communities’ vulnerability, adaptation strategy and limits and barriers to the adaptation of fishing communities to climate variability and change. The findings form the basis for further detailed research into the vulnerability and adaptation of small-scale fishing communities to climate variability and change. Collaborations between researchers, extension officers, development agencies, and fishers to formulate climate adaptation strategies to promote resilience in the fishery sector for sustainable fisheries for the future generation is encouraged. Keywords: vulnerability, adaptation, resilience, small-scale fisheries, Lake Kariba.
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    Impact of crop productivity and market participation on rural households’ food and nutrition security status: the case of Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, South Africa.
    (2022) Hlatshwayo, Simphiwe Innocentia.; Ngidi, Mjabuliseni Simon Cloapas.; Ojo, Temitope Oluwaseun.; Modi, Albert Thembinkosi.; Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe.;
    The agricultural sector has proven to be the backbone of improving rural households’ food security and livelihoods in developing countries. However, the sector faces numerous challenges, such as insufficient access to technology, institutional difficulties, inappropriate policies, poor infrastructure, and unsuccessful links to the markets, making it difficult for smallholder farmers to participate in the formal market sector. Smallholder farmers in South Africa are still trapped in low-productivity traditional technologies that have a negative impact on output and livelihoods. Low agricultural productivity and lack of market access threaten the efforts of alleviating poverty and improving food security. The study's main objective is to analyse the impact of crop productivity and market participation on rural households’ food and nutrition. The specific objectives were to assess the determinants and intensity of market participation among smallholder farmers; estimate the impact of market participation on the food and nutrition security status of the smallholder farmers; analyse the factors affecting crop productivity among smallholder farmers, and evaluate the effect of crop productivity on household food and nutrition security status in the study area. The study used secondary data, which was collected from a total of 1520 respondents who were selected through stratified random sampling. The study focused on two provinces (Mpumalanga and Limpopo) in South Africa, based on the predominance of smallholder farmers. While assessing the determinants and intensity of market participation among smallholder farmers, the results of the DH estimation model show that the gender of the household head, family member working on the farm, wealth index, and agricultural assistance, age of household head and family member with HIV were statistically significant factors influencing market participation. The result from the second hurdle showed that the perceived intensity of market participation was influenced by marital status, educational level of the household head, wealth index, access to agricultural assistance, household size, household age, and family member with HIV. The study also analysed the effect of market participation on the food security of smallholder farmers. The household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS) results revealed that out of the total sample size, 85% of the households were food insecure while 15% were food secure. The gender of the household head, receiving social grants, wealth index, and having a family member with HIV significantly influenced farmers’ market participation. The results of the extended ordered probit regression model showed that household size, having a family member with HIV, agricultural assistance, educational level of household head, ownership of livestock, age of household head, gender of household head, and having access to social grants variables were statistically influencing the food insecurity situation of smallholder farmers. The Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) showed that in the overall sampled population, 57% of smallholder farmers had the highest dietary diversity, followed by medium dietary diversity (25%), and the lowest dietary diversity was 18%. The t-test results showed that farmers who participated in the market enjoyed higher HDDS than those who did not participate in the market. The Food Consumption Score (FCS) showed that in the overall population, the acceptable FCS was 54%, followed by a borderline food consumption score of 30%, and the poor food consumption score was the least at 16%. The gender of the household head, receiving social grants, and the wealth index significantly influenced farmers’ market participation. The results from Poisson endogenous treatment effect model showed that the nutrition status of smallholder farmers was statistically influenced by agricultural assistance, access to market information, household size, ownership of livestock, access to social grants, wealth index, and involvement in crop production variables. The result from the ordered logistic regression model showed that household size had a negative and significant impact on the food consumption score of smallholder farmers. Gender of household head, irrigation type, social grant, and amount harvested had a positive and significant effect on the food consumption score of smallholder farmers. The results from the Tobit regression model showed crop productivity of smallholder farmers was significantly influenced by the gender of the household head, irrigation system, a family member with HIV, involvement in crop production, access to agricultural assistance, and wealth index of smallholder farmers variables. Lastly, the study determined the impact of crop productivity on household food and nutrition security status in the study areas. The results from the CMP model showed that ownership of livestock, harvest, disability in the family, household size, and gender statistically influenced the food (in)security of smallholder farmers. The results also showed that social grants, agricultural assistance, harvest, and household size significantly impacted the nutrition status of smallholder farmers. The results from this study support the findings of many previous studies conducted in developing countries and show that more intervention is still needed. It is recommended that government, researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders work together to close the existing gaps between research, policies, programmes, and extension services directed to smallholder farmers. This will help to improve crop productivity and market participation of smallholder farmers, which will, in turn, enhance their food and nutrition security.
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    The governance-institutions nexus in water management for climate change adaptation in smallholder irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe.
    (2021) Mwadzingeni, Liboster.; Mafongoya, Paramu L.; Mugandani, Raymond.
    Smallholder irrigation schemes (SISs) are crucial for improving food and income security in rural communities in a changing climate. However, despite huge investments and substantial development, most of the schemes have been performing below expectations. This study synthesizes governance-institutional nexus in water management from climate change adaptation in SISs, highlighting the linkage between scheme management and climate change. This study used qualitative and quantitative surveys to collect data from 317 scheme farmers in Exchange, Insukamini and Ruchanyu irrigation schemes of Midlands province, Zimbabwe. The overall objective of this study was to explore the governance-institutions nexus in water management for climate change adaptation in SISs. The specific objectives of the study were: (1) to assess livelihood vulnerability of households in SISs to climate change, (2) to assess the impacts of institutional and governance factors on the adaptive capacity of SISs, (3) to identify gendered perception on the prevalence and management of pests in SISs given climate variability and change, and (4) to assess the water footprint and nutrient content for the crops grown in the schemes. To achieve these objectives, different studies were conducted. In the first component of the study, the Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI) and the Livelihood Vulnerability Index—Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (LVI-IPCC) was used to compare vulnerability to climate change in the Exchange, Insukamini, and Ruchanyu SISs in the Midlands Province of Zimbabwe. Results show higher exposure and sensitivity to climate change in the Insukamini irrigation scheme despite the higher adaptive capacity. Both LVI and LVI-IPCC show that households in Insukamini irrigation scheme are more vulnerable to climate change than in Exchange and Ruchanyu irrigation schemes, attributed to water insecurity, poor social networks, and droughts. The study recommends that development and investment in Insukamini and Ruchanyu should prioritize improving social networks while Exchange should primarily focus on improving livelihood strategies. Vulnerability analysis using LVI-IPCC is crucial to better understand the vulnerability of smallholder irrigation schemes farmers to climate change. For instance, it can be used to explore the contribution of socio-economic, institutional and governance factors to the vulnerability of the SIS communities. This will contribute to improved water management for climate change adaptation. This chapter reveals factors that can be considered to increase the resilience SISs in a more variable climate. In the second component of the study, socio-demographic, governance and institutional factors that influence adaptive capacity in Exchange, Insukamini and Ruchanyu irrigation schemes were explored. Questionnaire-based interviews, group discussions and key informant interviews were used for data collection. Adaptive capacity calculated using the livelihood vulnerability model was used as the dependent variable. Ordinary least square regression was used to assess socio-demographic, institutional and governance factors influencing adaptive capacity in the smallholder irrigation schemes. We accept the hypothesis that stronger institutions positively influence the adaptive capacity of smallholder irrigation systems. The study reveals that adaptive capacity was significantly (P ≤ 5%) influenced by a margin of 0.026 for age squared, 0.073 for gender, 0.087 for education, 0.137 for household size, -0.248 for satisfaction with irrigation committee, 0.356 for participation in irrigation water scheduling, and -0.235 for participation formulation of rules. This chapter reveals factors that can be considered to adaptation to climate change in SISs. In the third component of the study, Mann-Whitney U test was employed to assess perception on the prevalence of pests between male and female farmers. Findings from this study depict that the females perceived a higher prevalence of cutworms (Agrotis Ipsilon) (P ≤ 0.01), red spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) (P ≤ 0.01), maize grain weevils (Sitophilus Zeamais) (P ≤ 0.01), and termites (Isoptera) (P ≤ 0.01) than males, while men perceive a higher prevalence of fall armyworms (Spodoptera Frugiperda) (P ≤ 0.01), bollworms (Helicoverpa armigera) (P ≤ 0.01) and whiteflies (Aleyrodidae ) (P ≤ 0.1) than females. Perception of the prevalence of pests was based on farmers' experience and shapes how they manage pests. Utilisation of gendered perception on pest in this chapter enables institutions and governance systems to consider gendered perception on climate change adaptation. Meanwhile, understanding water footprint is crucial to advise farmers to grow water use efficiency crops. Lastly, water footprint approach was used to assess the water metrics and nutrient-water matrix of food crops grown in three SISs in Midlands Province, Zimbabwe. The nutritional matrix of food crops was calculated based on the study done in Exchange, Insukamini, and Ruchanyu Irrigation Schemes in Zimbabwe. Given that the average yield ranges from 1.04 t/ha for sugar beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) to 30.60 t/ha for cucumber (Cucumis Sativus), the water footprint ranges from 278.85 m3/t for cucumber to 4762.98m3/t for sugar beans. Maize (Zea Mays) and wheat (Triticum Aestivum) are energy and carbohydrates rich crops with lower water footprints. Sugar beans have a higher protein content and water footprint, okra have high zinc content and low water footprint, while wheat has higher iron content and low water footprints. Interventions should focus on improving water footprint and opt for crops with the higher nutrient value of key nutritional elements like protein, zinc, and iron to fight hidden hunger. Climate change adaptation in SISs needs understanding of water footprint and nutrient security of the scheme communities.
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    Exploring agricultural knowledge systems and smallholder farmers empowerment: implication on household food security.
    (2020) Tamako, Nthabeleng.; Chitja, Joyce Magoshi.
    The association between the various actors of knowledge and the generation of common knowledge is expanding in agricultural sector. Smallholder farmers engages in multiple informative networks both formal and informal knowledge systems. These heterogeneous networks expose farmers to diverse agricultural knowledge. To assess their effect on the empowerment and food security of farmers, it is important to categorise the information and knowledge structures that are accessible to farmers. Firstly, the agricultural knowledge systems and the types of knowledge that occur in smallholder farmers. Secondly, by identifying the opinion leaders’ social networks and their influence on the quality of agricultural knowledge. Thirdly, by assessing the agricultural knowledge systems in relation to farmers’ empowerment levels and food security. The study was guided by the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF) and knowledge systems. The SLF identifies five capitals that can be classified as tangible and intangible and referred to as capabilities. The study argues that while building the smallholder farmers’ asset base through existing systems, it is important to categorise active knowledge systems, identify opinion actors within these networks and measure the level of empowerment brought about through these systems. A purposive sampling method was employed to collect data from 219 smallholder farmers. A descriptive analysis was used, a Chi-square test and running ordered probit and multinomial models. The study indicated that knowledge systems at Bergville and Appelsbosch emerge from the bottom level to outside sectors. The participation level of farmers in local technical and scientific knowledge systems showed a positive statistically significant with regard to farmers’ food security. The study further indicated that opinion leaders are from formal and informal systems and are currently working for local government and other farmers organisations and have years of farming experience. Not only do they have frequent contact with the farmers, but they also have other communicating channels they use for technical skills with farmers. The results revealed that farmers require leaders who can quickly access reliable and relevant information pertinent to their agricultural problems. These opinion leaders require continuous assessment to enhance and integrate their leadership skills and promote empowerment programmes for farmers. These facts explained why many of the farmers chose to seek information and advice from their opinion leaders. These research findings may help agents to develop their understanding of the dynamics of local communities and the social complexity that shapes farmers’ environment and decisions. The results also revealed that although the smallholder farmers were moderately and highly competent in areas of self-efficacy, sense of control, agricultural knowledge and food security, the majority of them had only low or moderate leadership skills. However, the significant number of severely food insecure farmers who regard themselves as having moderate or high self-efficacy still need to be improved. This implies that there is still work and improvement needed to reduce the number of food insecure farmers. While most programmes implemented by the Department of Agriculture and the private sector include the tangible empowerment of small-holder farmers, programmes should also focus on their psychological empowerment. As indicated by the results of this study, there is an association between knowledge systems, empowerment levels and farmers’ food security status and the effectiveness of agricultural knowledge systems could, therefore, be augmented by improving farmers’ psychological empowerment to enhance resilient agriculture and food production.
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    Integration of indigenous knowledge systems and modern climate science: development of a mobile application to improve smallholder agricultural production.
    (2019) Ubisi, Nomcebo Rhulani.; Kolanisi, Unathi.; Jiri, Obert.
    In sub Saharan Africa, subsistence agriculture underpins rural livelihoods. However, climate change has negatively affected rural smallholder farming due to over-dependence on climate-sensitive rain-fed agriculture. The effects of climate change have become the most critical issue for rural smallholder farmers. Rural smallholder farmers are greatly impacted by climate change and variability, leading to reduced crop yields, crop failure, loss of assets and livelihood opportunities. However, despite such challenges, farming continued to sustain livelihoods in rural areas over the years. Traditionally, African rural smallholder farmers have relied on their indigenous knowledge (IK) to sustain themselves, maintain their cultural identity as well as understanding climate and weather patterns for their decision-making at a farm level. However, the increase in rainfall variability in the past few years associated with climate change has reduced the reliability of IK. To address such challenges, the study suggests the integration of indigenous knowledge with modern climate science at a local level, to enhance the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change. The aim of the study was to establish commonly used indigenous knowledge indicators for climate and weather forecasts predictions and smallholder farmers’ perceptions on the integration of the two knowledge systems as well as the use of mobile app technology to improve agricultural production in Nkomazi Local Municipality, South Africa. The study information was collected through both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Data were collected from twelve villages, sampling 100 participants, 8 key informant interviews, transact walk conducted with a small group of farmers (maximum 5) and eight focus group discussions in Nkomazi Local Municipality. ArcMap 10.7.1 was used to map the distribution of indigenous indicators used by Nkomazi smallholder farmers and the Poynton model was used to predict the impact of the increasing temperature on smallholder farmers’ production using the plant and animal indigenous climate indicators in these villages, and SPSS 25 was used to analyse the quantitative data as well as Excel 2016. Qualitative data was analysed through thematic analysis. From the transect walks and focus group discussions, the study findings revealed that many of the Nkomazi smallholder farmers relied more on their indigenous knowledge (IK) than on scientific weather forecasts (SWFs) for farm level decision-making. The findings also revealed that elderly people passed down indigenous knowledge to them during field practices and through casual conversation as they were regarded as custodians of the indigenous knowledge systems. However, lack of IKS documentation is been the biggest challenge facing those farmers. Smallholder farmers' indigenous knowledge on weather foresting was compared with empirical evidence from Komati weather station from 1993-2018, and there were similarities on both knowledge systems. Further, it was revealed that there were different indigenous climate indicators utilised by Nkomazi smallholder farmers to predict weather forecasts. These indicators included certain patterns and behaviour of plants and animals, atmospheric, astronomic and human ailments. Animal indicators (31%) were the most commonly used followed by plant indicators (26%). The documentation of major climatic events recalled by the smallholder farmers over the study area agreed with what was collected from the rainfall and temperature data. Data from the South African Weather Services highlighted that Nkomazi rainfall has reduced greatly in the years 2000 and 2010 with 40 mm/year, with the highest temperature increase in 2003 (340). Poynton model predicted the indigenous indicators distribution with increasing temperature by 50C. The model predicted negative results with increasing temperature. Meaning that farmers would lose their indigenous indicators for weather predictions to make farm level decisions. Therefore, to address these challenges and help smallholder farmers adapt to the changing environment, the study suggests the need for reliable weather forecasts to guide the farmer's decision-making at a local level. To improve sustainability, efficient documentation of indigenous knowledge and the creation of a framework for integrating the two knowledge systems in weather forecasting is needed. Importantly, there is a great need to create an information dissemination network for weather forecasting within local municipalities. To achieve household food security, both knowledge systems should be integrated for farmers to make informed decisions. Therefore, mobile App development for rural smallholder farmers will bridge the gap and act as a key driver to reduce smallholder farmers' vulnerability to climate change and enhance resilience to improve productivity as it will focus on improving agricultural production. The mobile application for agricultural and rural development is a software that was designed for the collection and transmission of Indigenous knowledge information and modern climatic data through mobile (Web Application) technology for rural smallholder farmers. This mobile app is meant to provide practical indigenous knowledge system (IKS) used by smallholder farmers. The development of the mobile app will focus on improving agriculture production with functions such as providing climate and market information, increasing access to extension services, facilitating market links ability of sending chats/enquiries to App manager through sending chats and pics by farmers as well as IKS documentation. It will be accessible to smallholder farmers, extension officers and produce buyers. This mobile App will provide significant economic and social benefits among smallholder farmers by reducing product losses, improving agricultural production and providing the opportunity to make our developing country more globally competitive. It will include a non-redundant database (fast) that will include easy capturing of data. This system is user friendly and will be available as a light to load secure Web Application (Both Computer and Mobile). This App will contribute to the field through integrating IKS and modern science. It will assist in transforming, documenting and disseminating IKS information as well as improved accessibility of information through technology and contributing to diffusion of technology as we heading towards the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
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    A gendered analysis on the role and potential of goat production to improve income and food security in semi-arid areas of South Africa.
    (2020) Tsvuura, Susan Maira.; Mudhara, Maxwell.; Chimonyo, Michael.
    Small scale goat farming has a potential to contribute to livelihoods particularly in semi-arid areas where rainfall is erratic and crop farming is too risky. The broad objective of the study was to conduct a gendered analysis on the role and potential of goat production to improve income and food security in semi-arid areas of South Africa. The study used focus group discussions, key informant interviews and a questionnaire survey of 241 households for data collection. Descriptive statistics, general linear models, Chi-square tests and the Tobit regression model were used for data analyses. Male-headed households were mostly young, married and educated whilst female-headed households largely belonged to the old aged, were single or widowed and had little or no formal education. Male-household heads generally owned goats. In female-headed households, both the head and elder sons owned goats. In male-headed households, the head made decisions on goat marketing and on use of goat income whilst in female-headed households, both the head and elder sons made decisions (p<0.01). Male-headed households had larger goat flock sizes (mean 26.78 goats per household) than female-headed households (mean 15.59 goats per household) (p<0.05), lower goat mortality rates and achieved higher goat reproduction rates (p<0.05) as they followed better health control. Their goat annual net gains were higher than those of female-headed households (p<0.05). The motivations of male and female-headed households for keeping goats were different, with female-headed households rearing primarily for cultural ceremonies and males for sales. Goat sales were generally low, with mean of 2.1 for male-headed households and even lower for female-headed households with mean of 1.0 (p<0.05) in 12 months. The determinants of goat commercialization were gender of household head, location, education level of household head, occupation of household head, total household income, number of goats a household owns, goat marketing price, goat losses through death from diseases and theft, and whether a household receives remittances. The main constraints to goat commercialisation were poor condition of goats and mortality, high illiteracy rates of women, cultural settings biased against women, which discouraged them from owning and selling goats, shortage of transport to take goats to the market, poor confidence in the newly set up auction system of marketing and limited access to information. The reason for the low goat sales could be due to farmers’ failure to build up suitable flock sizes (due to losses through poor nutrition, diseases, predation, and theft), and this made it more unlikely to sell goats. Goat numbers were also an indicator of wealth. The Chi-square statistic showed a significant relationship between food security and household socio-economic parameters such as education level of household head (p<0.05), gender of household head (p<0.05) and the total household income (p<0.01). The study found that in gendered analysis, goat production does not contribute significantly to the improved income and food security in semi-arid areas of South Africa. Goats did not emerge as one of the main determinants of food security as their contribution to household income was limited. This is because goat flock numbers for most households did not grow significantly due to poor nutrition, diseases, predation, and theft. Where goat flock sizes were low, households limited goat sales to maintain their flock sizes and only sold goats when there were household emergencies such as funerals and ill-health. The main determinants of household food security were education levels, gender, saving money, location with access to irrigation to sustain gardens, sale of goats in the previous 12 months and the total household income. Female-headed households were less food secure than male-headed households, partly because they did not have reliable employment to provide adequate and nutritious food for their households. The food security situation was lower for households with lower education levels, and those who received less household income. Strengthening the role of women in household decision-making process is best done by increasing literacy levels among females so that they become empowered to achieve gender equality and their abilities within the society. Household commercially oriented goat production is a prerequisite for the commercialization of goats, particularly in female-headed households. For a successful goat production, female farmers need to regard goat farming as a source of income and to be convinced that their standard of living can improve through goat farming. Hence, there is need to improve the capacity of rural women and strengthen their resource base to enable them to play better roles in goat production. Participation of women in goat ownership, production, marketing, as well as decision-making on their income is critical in achieving food security. Empowering women by promoting rural education can contribute to improved food security. Increasing goat flock numbers enable farmers to make more sales, which can improve household welfare. Therefore, extension workers need to assist farmers to manage and utilize goats to their full potential. This may be done by assisting goat farmers to improve goat nutrition, health, and management; thereby increasing production efficiency of goats.
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    Urban and peri-urban agriculture: an analysis of the perceptions and use of food sovereignty among low-income dwellers in Harare, Zimbabwe.
    (2018) Chihambakwe, Michelle Tendai.; Mafongoya, Paramu L.; Jiri, Obert.
    Urbanisation has transfigured the urban landscape and heightened food acquisition within cities. Urbanisation, coupled with systemic socio-economic, political and climatic challenges, has heightened food security concerns. Food sovereignty, which is grounded agroecological and political centred principles has been touted as an alternative avenue to attaining food security. Yet, studies investigating agricultural issues frame responses seldom consider alternatives to the food security approach and rarely examine the urban dynamic. By unfurling extensively debated concepts of urban and peri-urban agriculture and food sovereignty, considers the interaction between food and politics. Mixed methods was employed to identify and draw on indicators associated with food sovereignty principles such as food security and nutrition, the impact of institutional arrangements, climate change adaptation and agroecological practices. Multiphase sampling was used to draw data from 400 urban farmers from four study sites in Harare, including 35 participants in four focus group discussions and eight key informant interviews. Ordinal, binary and multinomial logistic regression was used to analyse quantitative data and NVivo was used to analyse the qualitative data. To reinforce our analysis, Henri Lefebvre’s Right to the City and the Food Sovereignty Framework were used for exploring practices and processes holistically. By so doing, we explored the use and benefits of food sovereignty and corresponding constraints were explored. The key finding is that the practices of urban farmers resonated with food sovereignty, however, lack of attention to UPA, inadequate land, lack of information, undervalued indigenous crops and deteriorating economic environment reduced their control over productive and consumptive practices. This negatively affected their ability to apply principles of food sovereignty to their food systems. Findings also confirm that not all forms of UPA are inherently agroecological, particularly for those that cultivated on a large scale. These findings prompt a re-casting of urban and peri-urban agriculture. Recognition that intricacies produced by the interaction of socio-economic, political and environmental vulnerabilities also affect urban dwellers and concerted effort to pursue alternative avenues have the potential to reinforce food security at both household and national level. It is therefore critical for authorities to formulate policies that support urban and peri-urban agriculture in order to address urban food insecurity.
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    Does nutrition transition distort food choices and dietary patterns contributing to obesity among black African women? : a case of African women from Pietermaritzburg.
    (2018) Dandala, Ntombizodwa Phumzile.; Green, Jannette Maryann.; Kolanisi, Unathi.; Van Onselen, Annette.
    Obesity and its attendant nutrition-related non-communicable diseases and other risk factors has long been identified as a serious public health concern globally and locally. Based on those concerns, the author investigated the question: „Does nutrition transition distort food choices and dietary patterns, contributing to the overweight and obesity problem among the Black African women?‟ The nutrition transition is characterised by shifts from traditional diets to highly processed products with long shelf-life and regarded as energy-dense as they tend to have high oil, sugar and salt content, often purchased from supermarkets. Such diets are highly implicated in the global obesity epidemic. The focus was on women from Pietermaritzburg and the surrounding urban and rural communities. Qualitative and quantitative research methods using various research instruments were employed in the survey-based research design to elicit information from the participants. Qualitative methods used were in-depth and focus group interviews. Raw data were collected, computed and analysed. Four hundred and fifty-two women, excluding the pilot study, were interviewed. The participants were between the ages of eighteen and sixty-five years. Research included data from seventy-three women organised into six focus groups, complemented with key informants‟ interviews. The anthropometric data represented by the body mass index, reflected significantly high prevalence of obesity. The waist-to-hip ratios and the waist circumference, both indicators of abdominal obesity, similarly concurred. The socio-demographic information described the sample as homogenous in that they were all of childbearing age and more, oversaw food preparation in their households, of the same race group, culturally and geographically from the rural and urban areas of Pietermaritzburg. The socio-demographics analysed, were: marital status through the female-headed households‟ implied poverty; social grants‟ recipients as suggestive of household poverty; ownership of consumer durables as signifying a community undergoing a nutrition transition. ii The Household Food Insecurity (Access) Scale (HFIAS) measured the access component of food insecurity based on the experience of anxiety about food shortage; the perceptions of insufficient quality and variety of food and insufficient food intake. That was done through a nine occurrence- and frequency-of-occurrence questionnaire. The findings showed incidents of worrying about not having enough, as well as eating a limited variety and foods they really did not want to eat because of insufficient funds. Significantly, there were incidents of not eating any food of any kind because of lack of funds, including experiences of going to bed hungry, as well as going day and night without eating anything because there was not enough food. Those poignantly indicated a possibility of food insecurity at household level. The Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) is a food group dietary diversity indicator assessed through varieties of food-groups consumed. The results revealed limited dietary diversity with monotonous starchy staples consumed and high consumption of oily, sweet and salty food groups implicated in nutrition transition and the obesity epidemic. Focus Groups and key informants seemed oblivious to obesity and venerated it. Overall, the participants seemed to be relatively food and nutrition insecure, concurrently undergoing a nutrition transition, with abundance of highly processed products that seemingly distorted food choices and dietary patterns.
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    Nutritional, sensory and health-promoting properties of provitamin A-biofortified maize stiff porridges and extruded snacks.
    (2015) Beswa, Daniso.; Siwela, Muthulisi.; Dlamini, Nomusa R.; Amonsou, Eric Oscar.; Kolanisi, Unathi.
    Provitamin A-biofortified maize has been developed to contribute to the alleviation of vitamin A deficiency (VAD), which is prevalent in the sub-Saharan African region where vitamin A- deficient white maize is a leading staple. The biofortified maize is new compared to white maize and as such its grain properties, including milling, nutritional composition (save provitamin A composition) and sensory characteristics, are barely known. There is a challenge in the adoption of the biofortified maize as a food crop due to its low consumer acceptance, which necessitates more consumer studies. Furthermore, there is a need to develop high value commercial food products using provitamin A-biofortified maize to promote its wide spread utilisation and thereby enhance the vitamin A status of the population. The milling and nutritional properties of grains of 34 varieties of provitamin A-biofortified maize were assessed relative to a white variety (control/reference). The milling properties of the biofortified varieties as indicated by the milling index (69.9-112.1) and hectolitre mass (65.8-82.9 kg/hl) were better compared to 93.5 and 78.5 kg/hl of the white variety, respectively. The ash content of one biofortified maize variety PVAH 48 was comparable to that of the white variety (1.02 g/100 g), whilst five biofortified varieties showed significantly high Fe content (25.67-70.33 mg/kg) compared to the white variety (20.67 mg/kg). The protein (9.8-12.8 g/100 g) and lysine (0.16-0.37 g/100 g) content of the biofortified varieties were significantly high compared to 10.5 g/100 g and 0.21 g/100 g of the white variety, respectively. The sensory quality of stiff porridges made with provitamin A maize varieties were evaluated using descriptive analysis and the 5-point facial hedonic test by a trained panel and an untrained consumer panel, respectively. The provitamin A maize porridges were described as having a cooked maize flavour and aroma, sticky, fine with low intensity of residual grain and slight bitter aftertaste. Provitamin A carotenoid retention in the porridges was determined. Provitamin A carotenoid retention in the porridges was considerably high (91-123%). Relative to white maize porridge, the biofortified porridges were fairly acceptable, although their acceptability seemed to be reduced by their stickiness and bitter aftertaste. Leaf powder of Amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus), a vegetable widely consumed by rural communities in Southern Africa and reported to have good nutritional and health-promoting properties, was used to partly replace flours of four biofortified maize varieties at 0%, 1% and 3% (w/w) and extruded into snacks. The effects of Amaranth addition on the quality and health-promoting potential of the snacks was assessed, as well as the physical and sensory quality. The physical and sensory qualities of the extruded snacks, in terms of texture and expansion, tended to decrease with increasing Amaranth concentration. However, as Amaranth concentration was increased, the levels of many nutrients (including provitamin A carotenoids and protein) as well as health-promoting potential as indicated by phenolic content (31.0-98.7 mg of GAE/g dry weight) and antioxidant activity (114.3-186.7 μmol TE/g dry weight) also increased. The less acceptable sensory attributes observed in the biofortified maize should be attenuated through the manipulation of food product formulations. Other plant materials, such as Amaranth, can be used to enhance the nutritional and health-promoting properties of provitamin A-biofortified maize foods. Provitamin A-biofortified maize seems to have a potential for use in the alleviation of VAD and the general enhancement of food and nutrition security, as well as overall wellbeing.
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    Gender adaptive capacity to climate variability and change in pastoral communities : case study of Turkana in North-western Kenya.
    (2017) Omolo, Nancy Akinyi.; Mafongoya, Paramu L.
    Recurrent droughts due to climate change have led to the vulnerability of the pastoralist communities, leading to loss of assets and food insecurity. Climate change will have different impacts on women and men’s livelihoods. This specific study examined the relationships between gender and adaptive capacity to climate variability among pastoral communities in Turkana in north-western Kenya. This study used triangulation method which includes: the quantitative household survey data, focus group discussions (FGDs), a literature review of secondary data sources and key informant interviews (KIIs). Data was then analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were carried out to obtain qualitative data. This survey adopted stratified random sampling. The unit of analysis was the individual household. The target respondents of the closed/structured survey questionnaires were based on gender (either a female-headed household or male-headed household). The total sample size used in this study was 379 households. Findings from this study revealed that all respondents surveyed have witnessed a change in weather in the last 10 years. The study indicated that vulnerability to climate change is influenced by gender with elderly women being the most vulnerable in the area. The study revealed that participating in decision making and access to basic services were the most important in influencing the resilience of pastoralists.
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    Impact of cash cropping on smallholder farming households’ food security in Shamva District, Zimbabwe.
    (2017) Rubhara, Theresa Tendai.; Mudhara, Maxwell.
    Over 1.5 million Zimbabweans were food insecure in the 2015/2016 season, with the majority being in the rural areas. Land reform programmes have been implemented to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Smallholder farmers now constitute over 90% of farmers. There is a drive to commercialise small-scale agriculture by increasing the smallholder farmers’ involvement in cash crop production. However, despite those efforts, food insecurity remains high in the smallholder farming sector. As farmers shift towards cash crop production, an understanding of the implications of this shift on the household food security level is required. The objective of the study was to analyse factors determining cash crop production choices at the household level and the impact of such choices on household food security status. The research was conducted in Shamva district, Mashonaland Central Province of Zimbabwe. Data was collected in 2016 through a survey of 281 randomly selected households. Data was analysed using the SPSS and STATA. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and independent t tests for mean area under different crops were used for analysis of crop production patterns guided by the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. The Tobit regression models were used to measure determinants of commercialisation and impact of cash cropping on food security in chapters four and five respectively. The independent t-test was used to test for significance in average monthly income and expenditure between male-headed and female-headed households. The Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) was also used to model the determinants of household food expenditure. Maize and groundnuts were the main food crops grown in the area. About 95% of the sampled households grew maize in the 2015/2016 season and used about 61% of the total cultivated area. Tobacco covered 17% of the area and was the main cash crop. Male-headed household had more access to markets (p<0.1) and extension services (p<0.05) than female-headed households. Statistically significant differences between male-headed and female-headed (p<0.01) were observed in cash crops production with female-headed households planting less tobacco than male-headed households do. The average yield per hectare of maize (p<0.01) and tobacco (p<0.01) was significantly higher in A1 resettlement than communal farmers. The household commercialisation index, a ratio of marketed output to the value of crops produced captured the level of cash cropping. The average household commercialisation level was 0.45 implying that farmers sell less than half of the value of their produce. Household characteristics such as the age of household head (p<0.01) and gender of household head (p<0.05) influenced commercialisation. Furthermore, resource endowments such as labour (p<0.1) and number of cattle (p<0.05) also positively affected farmers’ decision to commercialise. Non-far income (p<0.05) was negatively associated with commercialisation. The target group for commercialisation interventions should be smallholder farmers with fewer sources of income as they are likely to be motivated to grow more cash generating crops. Descriptive statistics showed low levels of access to agricultural finance (6.76% of households had access to finance), albeit, its importance in improving production and commercialisation levels. Since communal land holding was negatively associated with commercialisation future land redistribution should continue to decongest smallholder farmers and provide them with support. Communal farmers with increased support are more likely to commercialise. Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) measured food security. The mean HFIAS was 1.89 implying a higher level of food security. Cash crop production had a significantly positive (p< 0.01) impact on food security. A unit increase in the proportion of cash crop resulted in an increase in food security by 4.3 units. This implies Cash crop production ensures that farmers can have more income that can be used for purchasing of food at the household level, thus improving their diet quality. Cash crop production only should not be regarded as a panacea to food security as quantity of maize harvested (p<0.05) had a direct positive impact on food security. Policies that target food crop production only as a means for ensuring food security maybe unsustainable in the end. Therefore, there is need for combining both cash and food crops. Other variables significantly positively influencing food security included non-farm income (p<0.05), access to markets (p<0.1) and access to draft power (p<0.05). However, household size (p<0.1) was negatively associated with food security. The main sources of farm income were cash crop sales, food crop sales and livestock sales, contributing, 64% of the annual household cash income. Food expenditure constituted the main expenditure category and accounted for over 60% of total expenditure. The variables household size (p<0.01), dependant ratio (p<0.05) and income (p<0.01) positively affected household food expenditure. The study revealed that improved cash crop production may be an option for improving food security as it provides an immediate source of farm income. There is need for further research to derive optimum combinations of cash and food crops in the crop mixture for smallholder farmers to achieve food security. Stakeholders including government and marketing firms should promote commercialisation by improving access to services such as finance and extension. Furthermore, opportunities for off-farm livelihoods options should be developed since non-farm income was also positively significantly associated with food expenditure and food security.
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    Development of a framewok for managing food security programme : an analysis of student food insecurity and the interventions at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2018) Sabi, Stella Chewe.; Kolanisi, Unathi.; Siwela, Muthulisi.; Naidoo, Krishna Denver.
    Food insecurity is a critical challenge affecting many households in post-apartheid South Africa. The 2017 report by Statistics South Africa indicated that food poverty had increased by 2,8 million in headcount, from 11 million in 2011 to 13,8 million in 2015. The most vulnerable were low-income households. The literature indicates that, in response to high levels of food and nutrition insecurity among poor population groups that have persisted from the apartheid era, the post-Apartheid South African government has made great strides in addressing the problem. For example, the serious problem of food and nutrition insecurity among children of school-age is being addressed through the National School Nutritional Programme, which has resulted in the enhancement of the capacity of the children to learn actively and the reduction of learner absenteeism and dropping out of school. On the other hand, recent literature indicates that food insecurity is an emerging and alarming problem among students at Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) in South Africa. The problem affects particularly students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is likely to be no exception to experiencing student food insecurity, given that nearly 50% of the students are from low-income households. The literature suggests that food insecurity and its impact on the health, well-being and academic performance is often underestimated in South African IHLs. This under-estimation seems to have resulted in the absence of a distinct government programme focussed on addressing food and nutrition insecurity among students at South African IHLs. In the current study, a preliminary review of the recent literature indicated that, due to failure or neglect by the government to address the problem and challenges of food and nutrition insecurity among students at South African IHLs, institutions like UKZN have resorted to developing and implementing a food security project and/or programme. The literature shows that UKZN has been running a Food Security Programme (FSP) since 2012 to address the problem of food and nutrition insecurity among the students. The form of assistance provided by the UKZN FSP includes meal vouchers and food hampers to students in need. Despite the implementation of the FSP at UKZN since 2012 as described above, pertinent data and information on student food security status are not available. While few studies have been conducted to analyse the food security status of students at South African IHLs (including UKZN), the studies were of limited in scope and in particular, the studies conducted at UKZN were not university-wide and therefore generated very limited data and information. In addition, it seems that no studies have been conducted to analyse: the perceptions of UKZN key stakeholders regarding student food insecurity; the awareness level of the key stakeholders (including students), regarding the existence of the FSP at their institution; and in examining the management of the FSP. The data and information that is lacking are essential, as they would guide decision-making with respect to policies and strategies aimed at developing and/or enhancing sustainable programmes and projects that address food insecurity among students at IHLs in South Africa. Thus, the objectives of this study were to: assess the prevalence of food insecurity among students; analyse the perceptions of UKZN key stakeholders (including students) regarding student food insecurity; assess the awareness level of the key stakeholders regarding the existence of the FSP at the institution; analyse the management of the FSP; and make recommendations, if necessary, for the improvement of programme management to achieve its objectives and impact on student academic potential. The study was conducted at UKZN’s five campuses, which are located in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. This empirical study used a mixed methods approach that lies in both the qualitative and quantitative paradigms. Quantitative data were collected through survey questionnaires that were delivered to the participants (N=500 students; N=100 academic staff). Qualitative data were collected through key informant face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions with various key stakeholders at UKZN. Data obtained from the surveys were analysed by IBM SPSS version 24 software, while most of the qualitative data were subjected to thematic content analysis. Results from the surveys suggest that food insecurity remains a serious challenge among university students. Some 53% of the students were vulnerable to the phenomenon, of whom 9% were highly vulnerable. The highest prevalence of food insecurity was in students relying on a financial aid scheme, undergraduates and males. It appears that students who suffer food insecurity will additionally experience psychological and emotional stress as a factor that can negatively affect their health, motivation and academic potential; some 67% of the students reported that hunger reduced their concentration and vigour such that, 28% of them had missed classes. Social stigma was linked to food insecurity as students preferred anonymity about their food insecurity status. Despite that the FSP had been implemented four years earlier, an overwhelming majority of the UKZN stakeholders among them 90% of the targeted beneficiaries, expressed ignorance regarding the existence of the programme at UKZN. In addition, 37% of the students showed reluctance to utilising or recommending the FSP to anyone. To evaluate the FSP at UKZN, a qualitative research using an explorative research design, generated data from key informants using face-to-face interviews. The study findings showed that as an institution, the UKZN lacked a sustainable blueprint for addressing the increasing prevalence of FI among students. The FSP currently run at UKZN was not formalised but introduced as a self-help initiative linked to a social responsibility of the University. ‘Ignorance’, and ‘denialism’ were the main identified descriptors for the lack of the programme prioritisation and mainstreaming, resulting in lack of resources including sustainable funding, personnel, and infrastructure. As perceived from the student views, social stigma was associated with negative attitude and beliefs about food aid. The study recommends that the FSP could overcome such negative connotations through programme awareness among the UKZN stakeholders. Further, managing of the FSP was compromised by lack of a monitoring and evaluation system in place, resulting in lack of publicity of the programme to the wider UKZN community. The study concludes by developing a framework as a toolkit for managing a FSP at an IHL like UKZN.
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    The potential of Moringa oleifera (Lam.) leaves for use in complementary foods to combat child food and nutrition insecurity among South African rural and peri-urban communities.
    (2017) Ntila, Sithandiwe Linda.; Siwela, Muthulisi.; Kolanisi, Unathi.; Abdelgadir, Hafiz Ahmed.; Ndhlala, Ashwell Rungano.
    The inadequate nutritional quality of complementary foods is a major public health problem in developing countries such as South Africa, and contributes towards the reported high rates of child malnutrition. Consequently, there is an urgent need to investigate interventions aimed at improving the nutritional quality of complementary foods. The aim of this study was to assess the potential of Moringa oleifera (Lam.) leaves for use in complementary foods to combat food and nutrition insecurity amongst children in South African communities. Mothers from Lebowakgomo village in Limpopo province (n=106) and Hammanskraal Township in Gauteng province (n=106), were recruited on a voluntary basis to participate in the survey which assessed the food and nutrition security status of their children, aged 7-12 months old. Additionally, six focus group discussions were conducted per study area to assess mothers’ perceptions about children’s food access and to further establish a recipe for a popular traditional cereal-based complementary food. The Children’s Food Insecurity Access Scale (CFIAS) was used to assess the food security status (access) of the children. The Individual Dietary Diversity Score (IDDS) together with the unquantified food consumption frequency survey were used as a proxy measure of the nutritional quality of the children’s diets. The age and weight of the children were obtained from the children’s clinic health cards and were used to calculate Weight-for-Age Z scores (WAZ). These values were interpreted to determine the prevalence of underweight children. The popular cereal-based traditional complementary food recipe (white maize soft porridge) used by mothers from the studied communities was modified by substituting maize meal with MLP at 1, 2 and 3% (w/w) levels. The nutritional, phytochemical and antioxidant analysis of the popular traditional complementary soft porridge (control) and Moringa-added porridges (test samples) were determined using standard methods. The sensory acceptability of the porridges was evaluated by the mothers who were recruited on a voluntary basis (n= 60 per study area) and six focus group discussions were conducted per study area to assess mothers’ perceptions on the inclusion of Moringa in complementary foods. The findings of the survey showed that a large percentage of children were severely food-insecure, 87% and 78%, at Lebowakgomo and Hammanskraal, respectively. Additionally, children from Lebowakgomo (23.6%) and Hammanskraal (17.9%) were severely underweight. Overall, children’s diets in both study areas were characterized by nutrient-deficient complementary foods. Cheaper foods with a higher satiety value such as white maize meal (WMM) and sugar were the most commonly purchased and used. Hence, the children consumed very limited amounts of foods rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins, which significantly increased the risk of malnutrition. As the MLP was increased from 0 to 3% in the Lebowakgomo white maize soft porridge, a corresponding significant increase in nutrient content was observed: ash (from 0.52 to 0.87 g/100 g), calcium (0.01 to 0.09 mg/100 g), potassium (0.10 to 0.14 mg/100 g), protein (8.70 to 9.68 g/100 g), threonine (0.14 to 0.66 g/100 g), glutamine (1.28 to 1.56 g/100 g), provitamin A (0.81-1.16 μg/g), lutein (0.04-0.30 μg/g), zeaxanthin (0.21-2.18 μg/g), β-cryptoxanthin (0.11-0.14 μg/g), β-carotene (0.25-0.50 μg/g) and 9-cis-β-cryptoxanthin (0.25-0.31 μg/g). Increasing the MLP from 0 to 3% in the soft porridge at Hammanskraal, caused a significant increase in the levels of iron (from 52.50 to 101.0 mg/100 g), manganese (1.00 to 4.00 mg/100 g), phenylalanine (0.35 to 0.47 g/100 g), provitamin A (0.87-1.01 μg/g), lutein (0.05-0.22 μg/g), zeaxanthin (0.22-1.29 μg/g) and β-carotene (0.27-0.39 μg/g). Additionally, the antioxidant activity, total phenolic and flavonoid contents of Hammanskraal and Lebowakgomo white maize soft porridges increased as the concentration of MLP was increased. The sensory evaluation results showed that the acceptance of each of the two traditional complementary foods decreased as the level of MLP increased. Mother’s indicated in the focus group discussions that Moringa-added soft porridges had a bitter taste, which would not be suitable for children. Only the Moringa-added soft porridge from Lebowakgomo containing 1% of Moringa was rated similar in overall acceptability as the corresponding white maize soft porridge (control). Nevertheless, all mothers expressed willingness to use Moringa in complementary foods if they would be trained on how to process it into foods suitable for children. There is a need to vary product formulation and processing methods, which may contribute to increased acceptance of Moringa-based foods. Additionally, the safety of using MLP in complementary foods should be investigated.
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    Sensory quality of provitamin A biofortified maize-based foods and the effect of a provitamin A biofortified maize awareness campaign on their acceptance in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2018) Ndwandwe, Ngwanamoelo Kate.; Kolanisi, Unathi.; Siwela, Muthulisi.; Mboya, Rose Mujila.
    Biofortification is a food-based intervention to combat nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin A deficiency (VAD), by increasing the levels of target nutrients in crops through traditional (conventional breeding) and modern genetic manipulation methods. Maize has been selected for biofortification with provitamin A to alleviate the prevalence of VAD in sub-Saharan Africa where white maize, which is devoid of vitamin A, is a leading staple. However, when compared to white maize, provitamin A biofortified (yellow) maize (PABM), consumers in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa found it less acceptable, largely due to their negative perceptions of yellow maize and its unfamiliar sensory properties. A combination of strategies such as food product development, consumer awareness campaigns, and nutrition education could improve consumer acceptance of yellow maize. Two provitamin A biofortified (yellow) maize food products, phuthu (crumbled porridge) and jeqe (steamed bread), and their corresponding white maize products (controls), were evaluated for their acceptability. Consumer acceptability tests were conducted with a consumer sample of 68 untrained panellists of the age range 18-85 years. A 5-point smiley pictorial Hedonic scale was used to evaluate the sensory acceptability of samples of PABM phuthu and Jeqe. The two food products were selected mainly because of their popularity amongst the KZN community. The results showed low acceptability of yellow phuthu compared to white phuthu, whilst the acceptability of yellow jeqe was similar to that of white jeqe. It was not clear why the acceptability of yellow phuthu was lower than that of white phuthu. Therefore, a descriptive sensory analysis was performed to characterise the sensory attributes of yellow phuthu and thereby reduce the influence of its sensory attributes on its acceptability. Eleven trained panellists analysed the sensory properties (attributes) of phuthu made from three varieties of provitamin A biofortified maize hybrids. Descriptive sensory analysis data were subjected to ANOVA, Fisher’s Least Significant Difference (LSD) tests, and Principle Component Analysis (PCA). The results showed that the yellow phuthu samples were characterised by lower intensity of chewiness, crumbliness, roughness, white specks, and had less malleability. The control phuthu had a lower intensity of stickiness and yellow colour compared to the yellow phuthu. The carotenoid pigments in the yellow phuthu were probably responsible for the yellow colour of the biofortified maize phuthu and its stickiness. It is necessary to reduce the intensity of the stickiness of yellow maize phuthu to enhance its acceptability. To change the negative perceptions and lower acceptability of provitamin A biofortified maize compared to white maize, a provitamin A awareness campaign was conducted. A group of 21 community members who had negative perceptions about provitamin A biofortified maize attended a perception change workshop. This awareness campaign workshop ran over three days and attempted to change their negative perceptions of yellow (provitamin A biofortified) maize. Two learning approaches were integrated as persuasive communication, namely, Transformative learning and Indigenous learning. The two learning approaches contributed to finding a way to improve the willingness of the sample of target consumers to adopt provitamin A biofortified maize as a food-based intervention to alleviate vitamin A deficiency (VAD).
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    A synthesis of rural livelihood approaches in analysing household poverty, food security and resilience: A case study of Rushinga rural district in Zimbabwe.
    (2018) Muzah, Onismo.; Green, Jannette Maryann.
    Understanding rural livelihoods is an important goal to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Zimbabwe, in particular eradicating poverty and food insecurity in every household. Even though livelihoods of the rural poor are susceptible to recurrent shocks, risks and stresses, fostering resilience on rural livelihood approaches is a significant remedy for achieving household well-being. However rural livelihood failure to mitigate widespread poverty and food insecurity have never been adequately examined or explained in a context that can encourage rural development policies. The study provides a comprehensive analysis of livelihood approaches, specifically endeavouring to answer the following questions: What livelihood factors determine rural poverty and its dimensions in the study area? What is the extent of household vulnerability to food insecurity? Is the degree of livelihood resilience and adaptation to attain food security sustainable? The main objective of the study was to use the concept of livelihoods as the springboard to analyse and measure household vulnerability to poverty and food insecurity as well as the level of rural resilience. The study focused on three distinct Wards in the Rushinga District, Zimbabwe. The multi-stage sampling procedure was adopted to select fifteen villages and simple random sampling was used to select 300 households for the survey, 100 from each Ward and 20 from each village. The household level was used as the appropriate unit of analysis, because on aggregate, pooling of labour, consumption, resources, coping and survival strategies are relatively identified from a household perspective, as a common unit of analysis. Data analysis employed econometric models to compare livelihood outcomes from different socio-economic variables included in the study. Descriptive statistics such as chi-square, t-test, mean, percentages and frequencies were used to answer the objectives of the study and test the hypothesis. A theory of rural livelihood approaches was developed using conceptual frameworks compatible to the context of the study; the Sustainable Livelihood Framework (SLF), micro-level food security framework and the Resilience Framework (RF). In other words, the frameworks strive to explain that positive household well-being is a result of successful livelihood approaches and negative well-being is the result of livelihood failure. The Sustainable Livelihood Framework is an appropriate checklist tool to understand how poverty is influenced by socio-environmental factors, and also important for eradication models. It describes the relationship between the environmental context and the capitals or assets available to the rural poor. In negotiating possible livelihood outcomes, the poor select from a range of available options within a particular context and locality, and the study shows that natural and social capital are easily available to the poor. The Food Security Conceptual Framework (FSCF), just like the SLA, identifies the reason some households become food secure and some food insecure. It is because livelihood activities, processes and outcomes differ from one household to the other. Household food security is a function of availability and access to adequate food, both dimensions hinge on resource endowments to acquire sufficient food. Furthermore, the stability of availability and access to food is considered an important dimension of food security as well as utilisation which has a bearing on nutritional security. Utilisation is considered a biological perspective of food security; as the ability of the human body to ingest and metabolise food. Because of the vulnerability context within livelihood approaches, which eventually result in poverty traps, the study shows that the poor find themselves food insecure. When compared to resourceful households who are food secure, they have the capacity to produce and procure adequate food. In other words, food insecurity in the District was a result of poverty, as the poor lack the means to pursue other livelihood options. The Resilience Framework improves the understanding of how the interaction of capacity, socio-economic and environmental factors affect rural livelihoods and household consumption welfare. The study revealed that highly exposed and sensitive livelihood systems eventually “collapse”, leading to vulnerability to food insecurity as compared other household’s livelihood systems which were highly adaptive, resulting in easy “bouncing back” to normal household’s functions. Thus, livelihood approaches, in complex rural context, can only be sustainable to warrant food security if strengthened by the resilience of socio-ecological structures. Quantitative estimation of the dimensions of poverty measured in monetary metrics and food insecurity measured in calorie intake per adult equivalence using the Foster, Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) indices revealed that 70% of households were poor, thus, living below absolute food poverty line, average poverty gap was 38% and severity 15%. The prevalence calls for relevant stakeholders like the government to scale up efforts to minimize household poverty. Since poverty in this study was measured in terms of expenditure on food, household’s lack of purchasing power means households could be food insecure. Generally, the prevalence of food insecurity was high in the District; 60% households were deemed food insecure, the depth of food shortage per adult equivalence was 24% and the inequality among the food insecure households themselves was 13%. Notably, the results indicated that poverty and food insecurity were gender skewed and geographically concentrated. There were more poor female headed-households than male-headed households, and concentration of household vulnerability to food poverty in Ward 12 signals geographical poverty. This all points to inequality when it comes to controlling and access to key productive resources to enhance their livelihoods. At the household level, food insecurity alleviation strategies and policies should aim to empower women and transform the livelihood choices and priorities of vulnerable groups in society. The study revealed a strong relationship between geographically defined factors and level of well-being. Spatial disparities in living standards were caused by the existence of geographical poverty traps which caused cycles of livelihood failure, for example, inequality in resource endowments, education and health services and a host of other social economic factors. To examine the determinants of poverty, the study utilized a binary logic model. The results of the econometric model revealed that rural poverty is linked to geographic location, dependency ratio, marital status, total monthly income per capita, asset endowment, access to support services and maize yield (statistically significant at 10% and below). The implication of this result is that not a single livelihood predicator can cause poverty. These variables interact at a scale beyond the control of households, causing households to fall into severe poverty, over a given point in time. A binary logit model was also used to estimate the determinants of household food security, daily calorie availability per adult equivalence was adopted as the dependent variable. The results showed that household food insecurity was linked to dependency ratio, per capita monthly income, the value of assets, total livestock units (TLU) and maize yield. In the rural context, there was a link between the predictors of poverty and food insecurity. Whenever poor households were confronted with either transitory or chronic food insecurity, they developed mild, moderate and more severe food deficit coping strategies. Generally, the households in the study used minimal coping strategies, the cause was attributed to the availability of external aid rationings which eased the severity. Even though the utility of natural resources, in particular, land-based activities, constituted an important source of livelihoods, as Zimbabwe is regarded an agricultural economy, the sector has become a poverty and food insecurity trap. At the same time, results exhibited rural livelihood transition from conventional activities. In the rural context, the transition is owed to uncertainty in agriculture, because of erratic rainfall, shortage of labour, high costs of inputs, land degradation, among other factors. Resilience is a developing research discipline in the wake of climate change, described in different ways and understood in complex dimensions depending on context. In the context of rural livelihoods, it is described as the capacity of the rural economy to simultaneously balance social, economic, ecosystem and cultural functions when confronted with predicted or unpredicted vulnerability. As such, rural livelihood resilience is the ability of the socio-ecological system to cope, adapt absorb and transform from change. This study strives to quantitatively measure resilience in the domain of food security. Food security is an important aspect that every household strives to achieve. High costs of farm inputs, market failure, and rising food costs were among notable shocks uncounted by households in the study. However, agricultural drought was the major livelihood threat to land-based activities, as nearly 94% of interviewed households who relied on own production for their food security recorded absolute crop failure. To measure household resilience against food insecurity, the study used two-stage factor analysis using the Principal Component Factor method. The model considers resilience against food insecurity as available household options over a given time. Among other options, adaptive capacity is the most important livelihood option, which is the ability of a system to adjust and take advantage of opportunities in order to offset risks and shocks. Access to natural resources was not significant enough to explain resilience against food insecurity, this is mainly attributed to degradation of the resources or inequitable access, for example to land. Validation of the mean resilience index indicates that livelihood diversification correlates with high resilience because of high adaptive capacity as compared to a single livelihood option. The mean resilience index also revealed that male-headed households improved adaptive capacity, given their better access to resources, whereas female-headed remained vulnerable because they were either involved in non-diversified livelihoods or they are constrained in accessing productive assets and low endowment in human capital. Thus, rural development policies should spur livelihood diversification as core resilience strategy against food shortages.