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P73 Impact of a Soy Nutrition Education Intervention on Knowledge of Smallholder South African Soy Farmers

      Background

      Smallholder farmers have gained importance globally recently and are considered to be fundamental to ensure populations’ food security. A recent study found 45% food insecurity among soy farmers in South Africa (SA) and it was recommended to focus on improving smallholder farmers’ ability to produce, preserve, store and consume food through appropriate interventions.

      Objective

      To assess smallholder soy farmers’ knowledge and perceptions of soy after participating in a soy nutrition education intervention.

      Study Design, Settings, Participants

      This was a cross-sectional, quantitative study study among a convenience sample of 78 soy smallholder farmers from KwaZulu-Natal (SA). A soy nutrition education program, including soy cooking demonstrations, tasting and recipes, and informed by the Social Cognitive Theory, was implemented for eight hours.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Pre- and post-quantitative data measuring soy knowledge and perceptions were collected using a modified version of a survey, tested for face and content validity and reliability, used previously. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics, version 25 for descriptive statistics as well as paired-sample t-tests to ascertain change in participants’ perceptions and knowledge of soy after the intervention. Significance was established at level 0.05.

      Results

      Only 41% of the soy farmers used soy in the household and mainly in meat dishes. Participants’ knowledge improved significantly (P < .001) from a mean ± standard deviation (SD) score of 26.33 ± 5.06 before to 32.00 ± 9.46 after the intervention, translated as 64.2% to 78.0% correctly answered questions before to after the intervention respectively. Soy taste preference also significantly (P = .002) improved after the intervention.

      Conclusion

      Soy farmers had average soy knowledge that improved significantly after the soy nutrition education program. Improvement in both soy knowledge and preference should result in more soy being consumed, thus impacting food insecurity and nutritional status.
      Funding: South African Oilseeds Advisory Committee (M20/142).

      Appendix. Supplementary data