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Title:Household food security and dietary diversity in the context of an agricultural and market development program in Guatemala
Author(s):Lopez Cintron, Julio
Director of Research:Helferich, William G.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Engeseth, Nicki J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Helferich, William G.; Andrade, Juan; Dong, Faye; Greene, Jennifer C.
Department / Program:Food Science & Human Nutrition
Discipline:Food Science & Human Nutrition
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Food security
dietary diversity
agricultural development
Abstract:Household food insecurity results when safe and nutritious food is not available, cannot be accessed in socially acceptable ways, or is not physiologically utilized completely. World Food Program's (WFP) Purchase for Progress (P4P) is a pilot initiative that provides access to food markets and promotes agricultural productivity for over one million low-income smallholder farmers worldwide (>7,000 in Guatemala alone). P4P combines novel market development strategies with investments in capacity building in an effort to sustainably boost national food security and improve livelihoods. The objective was to characterize the main determinants of household food security and dietary diversity in the context of an agricultural and market development program in Guatemala. We compared food security and dietary diversity between P4P beneficiaries and a control group. We evaluated household conditions, food security (ELCSA), and dietary diversity (HDDS) in 372 households (271 P4P; 101 control) using a cross-sectional design and mixed-methods. Most Significant Change (MSC) methodology was used to characterize participants' experiences in a subset sample of 57 households (46 P4P; 11 control). Education level (EL), number of children (NC), household quality (HQS), food security (FSS), carotenoid-rich foods (VAS), and dietary diversity for households (HDDS), women (WDDS), children (IDDS), and normalized (HDDSn) were calculated from quantitative data. MSC interviews were transcribed verbatim. Interview transcripts were analyzed according to the principles of grounded theory, using open, axial and selective coding (NVivo ver. 9.2) which involved breaking down, examining, comparing, labeling, categorizing and integrating data into pre-determined and emerging categories. Connections among categories were established according to a coding paradigm comprising observed conditions, context, action/interactional strategies and consequences. We constructed and linked program impact pathways (PIP) based on a mixed-methods. Each pathway factor was laid out along the hypothesized PIP using as blueprints P4P’s program theory and current conceptual frameworks linking agriculture, food security and nutrition. Factor inclusion was supported by evidence from three sources: our study, P4P’s monitoring and evaluation, and current literature. A six-step process integrated information: data weighting, entry, preparation, analysis, interpretation and final integration. P4P participants were less food insecure (FSS=7.4±4.4 vs. 9.2±3.1; p<0.01), had increased VAS (p<0.01), overall and normalized dietary diversity (HDDS=8.9±1.8 vs. 7.0±1.8). HDDS was also higher among women and children (p<0.01). Among P4P participants, food security was associated (p<0.05) with education level (r=0.23). Dietary diversity was associated (p<0.05) with education level (r=0.23) and number of children (r= –0.17). Among controls, food security was associated (p<0.05) with dietary diversity (r=0.53), housing quality (r=0.61), and number of children (r= –0.23). Also, among P4P participants food security and dietary diversity were different (p<0.05) across funding agencies, States, and farmers’ organizations. After content analysis of MSC statements, a total of 24 conceptual categories encompassing 58 subcategories of concepts were generated. Four conceptual categories and thirteen subcategories were relevant in describing food security and dietary diversity among P4P beneficiaries and controls: 1) Contextual settings: physical, social, governance, legal and economic; 2) Resources: time and capital; 3) Agricultural processes: contextual settings (household), resources, crop diversification and production practices; 4) Empowerment strategies: women and general. P4P promotes household food security and dietary diversity among smallholder farmers by enabling four PIPs: income, agricultural productivity via crop diversification and production practices, market access, and empowerment strategies. PIP research illustrates the role of P4P activities in underpinning nutrition security, specifically by supporting food security and dietary diversity among smallholder farmers in Guatemala. Results support the impact of agricultural and market development interventions such as the Purchase for Progress Program, and confirm its positive effect on food security and dietary diversity; which are perceived as important elements in improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Guatemala.
Issue Date:2014-01-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Julio Lopez Cintron
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-01-16
Date Deposited:2013-12

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