Title: Africa bureau
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075680/00001
 Material Information
Title: Africa bureau nutrition guidelines for agriculutre and rural developement
Series Title: Africa bureau
Alternate Title: Nutrition guidelines for agriculutre and rural developement
Physical Description: 15 p. : ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: United States -- Agency for International Development. -- Bureau for Africa. -- Office of Analysis, Research, and Technical Support
Publisher: Africa Bureau, Office of Technical Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development Division
Place of Publication: Washington DC
Publication Date: 1983
Subject: Nutrition policy -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Agricultural development projects -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographic references (p. 14-15).
General Note: "November 1983."
General Note: "Draft."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075680
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 86078421

Full Text
3c2. c





I. Introduction

II. AID Nutrition Policy and Strategy

III. Factors Determining Nutritional Status
A. Food Availability
B. Ability to Obtain Adequate Food
C. Willingness to Obtain Available Food
D. Biological Utilization of Obtained Food

IV. Why Increasing Food Production May Not
Feed the Hungry
A. Consumption Effects Linked to Income
B. Consumption Effects Linked to Farming
C. Consumption Effects Linked to Prices
D. Implications for Project Management

V. An Approach for Focusing on Food Consumption

A. At the Level of the CDSS
B. At the Project Level
C. Building a Nutrition Information System
D. Implementation

VI. Conclusion


Africa Bureau 3Vq!
Office of Technical Resources
Agriculture and Rural Development Division

November 1983





Almost all agricultural development projects financed by USAID in
Africa have a nutrition impact, if not as a specific objective, then as the
indirect consequence of achieving or not achieving other objectives. This
paper provides guidelines for agricultural officers and others responsible for
implementing the Agency's nutrition policy (USAID, 1982) and its draft
nutrition strategy (USAID, 1983) as these pertain to agricultural and rural
development projects and programs in Africa.

Increasing rural incomes and increasing food and cash crop production
are important components of the Africa Bureau Food Sector Assistance
Strategy. This paper provides guidelines for increasing food consumption
simultaneously. Food consumption is the most important determinant of
undernutrition. The purpose of these guidelines is to facilitate serious
consideration of nutrition in all agriculture, rural development projects and
PL 480 programs. The guidelines suggest a framework for increasing the
likelihood that achieving income, production and import substitution will also

lead to increases in food consumption among specific food deficit African



The AID Nutrition Policy Paper places highest priority on alleviating

undernutrition 1 through sectoral programs in agriculture, health, food aid,

population and education, not just through direct nutrition programs.

Addressing protein inadequacy and micronutrient deficiencies is also

important. AID's policy in nutrition will be implemented by incorporating

nutrition and food consumption into sectoral development strategies, by

identifying programs and projects based upon analysis of nutrition and food

consumption problems and by including nutrition as a factor in project

design. By focusing on the structural causes of undernutrition, this approach

has the potential to reduce the need for direct nutrition intervention



On a per capital basis, undernutrition in Africa appears to be about

twice as prevalent in rural areas as in urban areas. Despite this, rural

undernutrition has received much less attention. Since developments in

agriculture also affect the undernourished in urban areas, responsibility for

nutritional improvement falls heavily upon agricultural programs and projects.

Four broad factors influence the nutritional status of the individual.

A. Food Availability

Food shortages may occur only during certain years. They may be

chronic or seasonal, nation-wide or area-specific. Food shortages have a

1 Defined as inadequate consumption of calories, undernutrition is the most
common nutrition problem in Africa. Its seasonal incidence is greater than
its incidence throughout the year.

number of causes. Those of most concern to USAID's agricultural development

program include poor incentives for producers, lack of resources, weak

institutional structures for developing and disseminating suitable technology,
post-harvest food losses, transportation, marketing bottlenecks, and policies

relating to food imports or agricultural exports.

B. Ability to Obtain Adequate Food
Economic factors such as limited purchasing power, high food prices or
an inadequate resource base for household food production may make food

unavailable to some individuals, even though adequate supplies exist in local

markets. Individuals within the household may not be able to obtain adequate

food because of the allocation of available production resources, income or

food supplies within the household.

C. Willingness to Obtain Available Food
This factor groups those causes which relate to "inappropriate"
demand, i.e., consumption patterns which do not meet the nutritional needs of

all family members. At the household level, it includes social and cultural

factors such as food habits, beliefs, taste preferences, and inaccurate
perception of food needs.

D. Biological Utilization of Obtained Food
Biological utilization of obtained food is determined essentially by
three factors: 1) the form in which food enters the body, 2) the ability of
the gastrointestinal tract to digest and absorb the food that enters, and

3) the body's ability to retain and use the nutrients it has absorbed.

Agriculture and rural development activities relating to food conservation,

food processing, and food preparation can enhance the probability that

households will consume food in a form that allows a healthy digestive process

to extract and absorb the most nutrients possible (factors one and two).

Interventions in the health sector can improve the ability of internal body

systems to digest and absorb food and use the nutrients absorbed (factors two

and three). The health sector also assumes an important preventive role in

minimizing the potential of agriculture or rural development projects to

spread disease through such things as irrigation, crop handling and livestock

management practices.


The ultimate goal of AID agricultural projects is to increase the
quantity and quality of food that people eat. Historically, AID development

projects in Africa have emphasized increasing agricultural production and

incomes as the most effective way to increase aggregate food consumption.

However, project planners have paid little attention to whether food deficit

groups have actually participated in the increased incomes and, if so, whether

the higher incomes actually translated into appreciable increases in

consumption of total nutrients for them. There is mounting evidence that

these relationships may not be as straightforward as is commonly believed,

especially among limited resource households that produce a large proportion

of their own food needs.


Increases in income may not be followed by substantial increases in

individual consumption. In Sierra Leone, it was found that the very poor

could use increased household net income to increase caloric intake from

cereals. However, given constant prices, total income had to increase 88% to

raise caloric intake from the current 1,200 calories per capital per day to the

minimum requirement of 1,900 calories per capital.

Increases in production may not be followed by substantial increases
in individual consumption. Aggregate production of food will increase more

sharply than individual consumption because amounts of available food energy

will be lost in storage, more refined processing, and in conversion to more

highly valued food commodities, such as livestock products. These factors

operate to diminish the impact of a given increase in income or production on

individual consumption of nutrients -- the variable of primary concern.

Within this context, we need to further distinguish between the impact

of agricultural and rural development projects on urban consumers versus
producing households. In general, food consumption in urban areas will

respond to food availability, incomes and prices. however, this relationship

is not straightforward. Taste preferences are responsible for diversion away

from dreary calories to more expensive, tastier ones. The situation in rural

areas, is even more complex. As a point of departure, we do not thoroughly

understand how food consumption in rural areas responds to changes in income,

prices and agricultural production patterns. These responses or "consumption

effects" no doubt vary from one area to another. Consumption effects meriting

special attention in the selection and design of agricultural and projects and
PL 480 programs are discussed below.

A. Consumption Effects Linked to Income

Recognizing the importance of income,-other dimensions of income

greatly influence the extent to which a given increment of it will stimulate

increased consumption of food.

1. Flow of Income Steadiness in the flow of income over the
course of the year may be a more important determinant of nutritional status

than the total amount. Dry season vegetable production, investments in

livestock, or other means of income may have an especially favorable impact on

food consumption during the hungry season.

2. Content of Income In some cases, income in the form of
increased output of food crops often translates into greater consumption of

calories and other nutrients than an equal amount of cash income from non-food

crops or from wages.

3. Owner of Income African households tend not to pool income.

Those who earn it tend to retain control of it. Thus a greater proportion of

income may be spent on food if it is earned by persons responsible for food

acquisition or preparation.

B. Consumption Effects Linked to the Farming System

1. Division of Labor When new technologies are introduced, the

division of labor between men and women may change. The changes may have a

deleterious impact on food consumption if they reduce women's control over

household income, the amount of time women have available for food

preparation, or increase the energy needs of family members.

2. Mix of Enterprises Subsistence households generally consume

large amounts of the combdities which they produce themselves. Substituting

non-food or non-traditional crops for traditional food crops in such farming

systems may result in a decline in food consumption unless incomes increase

enough to generate market purchases of equal quantity and quality. Fewer

crops cultivated may accentuate seasonal shortages. For example, decreased

intercropping of early maturing fonio, millet and maize with groundnuts
appears to have lengthened the Gambian "hungry season". Introduction of cocoa

in Nigeria, has often been cited as leading to increased dependence on root

crops in the diets of producing households. This, in turn, appears to have

lead to an increase in protein deficiency among young children.

C. Consumption Effects Linked to Prices

In order for higher producer prices for local food crops to stimulate

increased production, the farmer must have the means to make a production
response to these higher prices, through improved production technologies, and
marketing access. Without these technologies and marketing efficiencies,

higher prices may foster entrenchment of unnecessarily high-cost agricultural

production leading to higher than necessary retail food prices and reduced
food consumption.

Increasing retail prices for rice and wheat imports relative to
domestically produced substitute foodstuffs may have a different result.

Since the poorest urban households do not consume these products in large

quantities, higher prices may have little effect on their food consumption.

D. Implications for Project Development

Nutritional impact of agricultural projects ultimately boils down to a
project's contribution to what people eat food in a hungry person's mouth.

Overall increases in food production and income do not lead necessarily to

increased food consumption by any selected food deficit groups. Moreover, a

particular policy or program can effect various groups quite differently.

Implementing AID's nutrition policy with respect to agriculture and
rural development in Africa requires making increased food consumption by food

deficit groups an explicit goal of agriculture and rural development projects

and programs. Agriculturalists should pay close attention to the consumption

effects of projects and programs that provide resources to the agriculture,

forestry and fisheries sub-sectors, including marketing projects. And Food

for Peace officers should pay close attention to the consumption effects of
PL 480 Title I, III, and II, Section 206 programming.


In order to incorporate nutritional considerations in agricultural and

rural development planning and programming, mission strategists and project
planners will need simple yet effective ways for defining who the hungry
people are and how their food consumption might be affected by particular

adjustments. This will, in general, have to be done at both the CDSS and the
project level.

A. At the Level of the CDSS
The purpose of the CDSS is to define a coherent strategy for guiding
USAID program activities in a country toward the achievement of specific

economic, social, political and quality-of-life objectives. Up to now,

nutritional issues, per se, have not assumed great importance in formulating

the CDSS. The typical goals of increasing food production and incomes are

only assumed to lead to increased food consumption and better nutrition.

This may not be true for groups in specific areas or situations. Within AID,

improving food consumption among malnourished groups has assumed a level of

importance comparable to increasing food production, incomes, foreign ex-

change earnings, employment and other development objectives. However, these

objectives will sometimes conflict. The challenge facing missions is to

identify strategies and projects that recognize the interlationships between

economic objectives, such as improvements in production and income, and

quality-of-life objectives, such as adequate food consumption. This type of

integration is important for all AID projects.

The Agency's draft Nutrition Sector Strategy Paper outlines the method

for incorporating nutrition in the CDSS. Basically, the CDSS needs to

identify whether a country has a nutrition problem and, if so, whether the

Country Development Strategy will deal with it. To incorporate nutrition in

the CDSS, AID mission staff will have to identify the nature and extent of the

principal nutrition problems facing a country, and, where possible, the

structural causes. The CDSS needs to spell out economic public and private

sector measures being taken to correct these problems. The CDSS should

articulate its own strategy for the particular undernourished populations it

chooses to assist, including establishing commodity, regional, and program

priorities. It should also establish commodity and regional production

priorities and identify the types of projects and policies through which it

will provide that assistance.

To achieve nutrition and food consumption objectives the CDSS ought to
focus on making existing resources more efficient, rather than financing

add-on nutrition components to projects. Nutrition improvements should be

viewed as an outcome of development, especially development of the

agricultural sector. Nutrition and food consumption considerations should not

be given primary importance over income, production, import substitution and

other objectives. But, they should receive explicit and equal consideration

before selecting a definitive strategy for the CDSS.

B. At the Project Level
Initially, until more data are available, nutrition analysis at the
project level will assume greater importance than for the CDSS. At the

moment, the project level is where affected populations are defined in

sufficient detail to permit an analysis of the structural elements that may

influence food consumption effects. Initial efforts should concentrate on

influencing project design. The following five steps will guide the review


1. Identify groups substantially affected by the project or PL 480 program

and the ways in which this may occur. This analysis should expose both direct

and indirect benefits and costs.

2. Use existing health or nutrition survey data or qualitative descriptions

of micro studies to map nutritional status onto the groups identified above.

3. Identify the likely impact of the project on consumption of food by those

groups identified as being undernourished. In particular, the project design

team should consider the consumption linkages described earlier:

a. the likely effect of the project on the output of individual food

commodities and any substitutes.
b. anticipated changes on farm consumption of principal and substitute

crops by undernourished groups.

c. changes in the seasonal availability of foodstuffs and the expected

impact of these changes on food consumption in undernourished groups.
d. impact of the project on prices of outputs and substitute products,

quantified if possible.

e. impact of any price changes on food production and consumption by

undernourished groups, whether in the project zone or outside of it.
f. changes in income for undernourished groups and the expected impact

of these changes on food consumption.
g. changes in the intra-household distribution of income and its likely

impact on food consumption by undernourished individuals.
h. changes in household labor requirements and labor allocation and the

impact this is expected to have on food consumption by undernourished

5. Suggest changes in project design that promise to enhance the positive and

reduce any negative aspects of the project with respect to affected groups

that have been identified as undernourished. This will help clarify the real

nutritional impact of the project by excluding benefits accruing to already

adequately nourished groups. The focus of these guidelines is on nutrient

consumption by undernourished groups, not on nutrient supply.

C. Building A Nutrition Information System

Much of the information needed to develop a nutrition strategy for the

CDSS or to predict the food consumption effect of projects may not be

available. In general, food supply and distribution data and health

statistics are not disaggregated enough to reveal the structural economic and

social relationships influencing undernutrition. Nevertheless, missions should

use available information to make as complete an assessment as possible. As a

first step, missions may need to utilize short-term outside assistance to

organize available information, to suggest how existing data can be used for

food and nutrition assessments, and to identify ways in which existing data

collection systems can be improved for nutrition planning. As a second step,

mission capability for nutrition analysis could be developed through

specialized training of a host country staff member. As a third step,

incorporating food consumption measures into project monitoring systems should

provide additional information and help to improve project designs while

ensuring that projects fulfill their food consumption objectives.

D. Implementation

The key to increasing the nutritional impact of agricultural and rural

development projects is to introduce nutrition considerations at the outset.

This is most likely to occur where nutrition analysts, agriculturalists,

agriculture economists, and rural development technicians work collaboratively

on project identification and design and have, themselves, a good

understanding of the kinds of relationships described in these guidelines.

Collaboration will help missions to prepare scopes of work that ensure

adequate consideration of food consumption dimensions by project

identification and design teams. Food consumption dimensions must become

explicitly incorporated in sectoral project identification, design,

implementation, and evaluation, to ensure the implementation of the Agency's

Nutrition Policy, with respect to agriculture and rural development.


Lasting improvements in nutrition are likely to result from changes

which incorporate nutritional considerations in the design of programs in

economic sectors, especially agriculture and rural development. Missions are

being asked to undertake a wider range of actions than has been required in

the past. These guidelines suggest an approach for allowing project

development and implementation to continue in the short run, while building

the information base and analytical capacity necessary for a more effective,

long term response. As we grow in our understanding of the numerous and

complex ways that food consumption in African farm households reacts to

specific changes in production systems, cropping patterns, income flows and

farm level prices, we can expect to make increasing strides in overcoming

undernutrition in Africa.


1. Berry, E. and Miller, C.I. 1983. Consumption/Nutrition
Factors in Aid-Impact Evaluations of Agricultural
Research, Rural Roads, Rural Electrification, and
Water Projects. Nutrition Economics Group, OICD,
USDA. Washington. D.C.

2. Burfisher, M.E. and Horenstein, N.R. 1983. Case Studies
of the Impact of Large Scale Development Projects
on Women. "A Series for Planners -- Study No. 2."
The Population Council: New York.

3. Collis, W.R.F., Dema, J. and Omololu, A. 1962. "On the
ecology of child health and nutrition in Nigerian
villages one and two." Tropidal and Geographical
Medicine, vol. 14: 140-163 and 201-229.

4. FAO/WHO 1973 Energy and Protein Requirements: Report of
the Joint FAO/WHO Ad Hoc Expert Committee. "FAO
Nutrition Meetings Report Series, No. 52.". Rome.

5. IBRD 1980. Basic Needs in the Gambia. "Report No. 2656-
GM." Washington, D.C.

6. Jones, C.W. 1983 The Impact of the SEMPRY I Irrigated
Ride Production on the Organization of Production
at the Intra-Household Level. USAID: Washington,

7. Kennedy, E.T. and Pinstrup-Andersen, P. 1983 Nutrition-
Related Policies and Programs: Past Performance and
Research Needs. IFPRI: Washington, D.C.

8. King, R.P. and Byerlee, D. 1977 Income Distribution, Con-
sumption Patterns and Consumption Linkages in Rural
Sierra Leone. "Africa Rural Economy Paper No 16."
Michigan State University: East Lansing, Michigan.

9. Kumar, S.K. 1983 Nutrition Problems in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Paper prepared for a conference on "Accentuating
Agricultural Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," held at
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. IFPRI: Washington, D.C.

10. Kwofie, K.M. 1983 An Approach to the Introduction of
Nutrition Considerations into Rural and Agricultural
Development Projects: Baringo Arid and Semi-Arid
Areas Project. Food and Nutrition Unit, Ministry of
Economic Planning and Development, Nairobi, Kenya.

11. Longhurst, R. and Burk, M. 1982 Integrating Nutrition .....
Into Agricultural and Rural Development Projects,
Manual No. 1, Nutrition Planning, Assessment and
Evaluation Service, Food Policy and Nutrition Division,
FAO: Rome.

12. Perisse, J. 1962 L'Alimentation des Populations Rurales
du Togo. Annales de la Nutrition et de l'Alimentation,
vol. 16(6): 1-58.

13. Pinstrup-Andersen, P. 1981 Nutritional Consequences of
Agricultural Projects: Conceptual Relationships and
Assessment Approaches. "World Bank Staff Working
Paper No. 456. IBRD: Washington, D.C.

14. Pinstrup-Andersen, P. In press The Nutrit-ion Effects of
Export Crop Production: Current Evidence and Policy
Implications, in Nutrition and Development, M. Biswas
and P. Pinstrup-Andersen (editors). Tycoon Press:

15. Reutlinger, S. and Alderman, 1980 The Prevalence of
Calorie-Deficient Diets in Developing Countries.
World Development, vol. 8:406.

16. Tripp, R. 1979 Economic Strategies and Nutritional Status
in a Compound Farming Settlement of Northern Ghana.
Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University: New York.

17. USAID. 1982 AID Policy Paper: Nutrition. USAID: Washington,

18. USAID. 1983 AID Nutrition Strategy Draft. USAID:Washington

19. USAID, S&T/N. 1982 Consumption Effects of Agricultural
Policies in Tanzania. USAID: Washington, D.C.

20. USAID, S&T/N. 1982 Consumption Effects of Agricultural
Policies, Cameroon and Senegal. USAID: Washington, D.C.


oAT:, February 7, 1984
ATTN oP S&T/AGR/EPP, Phillip Church

suajcrT AFR Bureau Nutrition Guidelines Draft

ro. AFR/TV/ARD, Christine Babcock

I read over the November 1983 draft of your Nutrition Guidelines.

Despite my best efforts I could find no errors of omission or commission
in it! It is an excellent concise, and comprehensive piece of work.

It serves, in fact, as a model for other bureaus to follow and I have
taken the liberty of distributing copies to a few people listed below. I
am also sending along copies to the project officers and contractors in
S&T/AGR's Farming Systems and Agriculture Policy projects. Both of
these projects have guidelines development activities in their workplans.
What you have put together, I believe, is valuable both as a model and as
a substantive input to these efforts.

Congratulations for the lead you have taken in our AID guidelines
development and updating efforts in this important area of nutrition.

S&T/N, NLuykx
ASIA/TR, CAntholt
NE/!ECH, WCobb
S&T/RAGR, RSuttor/JRiordan
S&T/AGR, Worse/Andrew

(REV. 1-I0)

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