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An investigation of the drivers of sustainable market development for high-nutrient staple crops – the case of vitamin A-rich sweet potato in Zambézia, Mozambique

An investigation of the drivers of sustainable market development for high-nutrient staple crops – the case of vitamin A-rich sweet potato in Zambézia, Mozambique

Massingue, Jaquelino Anselmo (2016) An investigation of the drivers of sustainable market development for high-nutrient staple crops – the case of vitamin A-rich sweet potato in Zambézia, Mozambique. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a serious issue for 70 percent of Mozambique’s children aged between six months and five years, particularly those living in rural areas although those in low-income urban households are also at risk. Lack of access to vitamin A-rich foods contributes to the 35 percent child-mortality rate. Numerous efforts have been made to overcome this through vaccination and food fortification but these often do not reach enough children from rural households and are not cost-effective. A previous pilot project in 2002 in Zambézia province showed that introducing biofortified orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) into the farming system and diet could alleviate VAD. It concluded that the incorporation of a marketing component in a similar intervention could spread the benefits of OFSP to a wider consumer segment and provide a greater incentive for farmers to include it in their cropping system if there was a market for it. This study attempts to understand the effectiveness of various marketing pathways to sustainably introduce OFSP varieties into communities with inadequate vitamin A intake. Little research has been undertaken on the marketing of sweet potato in Mozambique and no research had been carried out on how a vitamin-rich variety could sustainably be introduced to informal marketing chains, to facilitate long-term demand. The purpose of this research is to gain an in-depth understanding of the drivers of sweet potato marketing and to analyse the effectiveness of the OFSP marketing strategy adopted by the HarvestPlus Reaching End Users Project (2006-2010) in facilitating market development.

The conceptual framework draws on transaction cost theory as well as the importance of consumer sovereignty in deciding which products are demanded. A key factor in developing market linkages is addressing the ways that traders use to overcome the significant constraints associated with the trading of bulky, perishable produce while responding to short season market demands and supply sources. Key findings indicate that farmers’ ability to gain from participation in OFSP marketing increased according to their links with existing active sweet potato marketing chains, distance to markets and consumer awareness of the produce’s advantages. Traders accepted the new crop if they understood that the product was demanded by consumers aware of its nutritional and health advantages. A price premium for OFSP evolved, reflecting its superior nutrient qualities and scarce supply. This did not deter consumers and their demand for the produce if they were aware of the health benefits for themselves and their children from consuming it.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sweet potato subsector; food crops; market development; orange fleshed sweet potato (OFSP); Vitamin A; nutritional health; Mozambique
Subjects: S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2019 12:12
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/23591

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