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P044 Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Project Increased Bean Consumption and Improved Protein Quality of Rural Guatemalan Families

      Objective

      To assess impact of nutrition-sensitive agricultural project on intake of beans and improved quality protein of indigenous women and their families in the Guatemalan highlands.

      Use of Theory

      Nutrition lessons were designed based on the Social Ecological Model taking into account the indigenous highland cultures and local foods grown. They were delivered across geographically dispersed communities in households using wood-burning stoves and no refrigeration.

      Target Audience

      Indigenous women and their families living in remote rural highland communities.

      Description

      Five-pound bags of improved bean seed varieties were provided to rural families coupled with training to grow them. Five group lessons with videos and activities were developed to address nutrition topics taught by cross-trained nutrition, health and agricultural extension educators: preventing chronic malnutrition; enhancing protein quality; nutrient needs in pregnancy and lactation; feeding the child 6-11 months; and feeding the child 1-3 years. Because these rural families rarely eat animal protein and had reduced bean consumption, protein complementarity was stressed. Previous assessments demonstrated that their diets were composed primarily of corn and other carbohydrates.

      Evaluation

      This was addressed two ways: by comparing the household intake of beans both before and after receiving the lessons; and using the Most Significant Change technique for qualitative assessment.

      Results

      The timeframe for the intervention was six months. Five hundred and seventy one households from 93 communities reported eating beans 1.5 x/week before receiving the bean seed and training and 2.8 x/week afterwards. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) for HH intakes showed statistically significant increases. Qualitative measurements 12 months after the intervention confirmed increased bean consumption across the study area.

      Conclusions

      This nutrition-sensitive food-based approach when coupled with seed distribution, agricultural and nutrition education resulted in an increased consumption of beans, which when combined with corn and other cereals, improved protein quality intake of women and their families in rural indigenous households.

      Funding

      USAID

      SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

      Supplementary data related to this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.04.084.

      Appendix. SUPPLEMENTARY DATA