Promoting rapid and sustained adoption of biofortified crops: What we learned from iron-biofortified bean delivery approaches in Rwanda uri icon

abstract

  • Micronutrient deficiencies, also known as hidden hunger, affect two billion people worldwide, curtailing their ability to lead healthy, productive lives. Biofortified staple crops, bred to be rich in micronutrient content, are a cost-effective and scalable solution to alleviating micronutrient deficiency, particularly among rural households who consume what they produce. Delivery of biofortified planting material in Rwanda began in 2012, and it is important to learn from the efforts undertaken to date to inform the design of higher impact lower cost delivery strategies for scaling up these crops. In this paper, we use a nationally representative household survey of bean producers and delivery data from seven consecutive seasons and apply duration analysis to estimate the impact of different delivery approaches on household time to adoption, disadoption and readoption of iron-biofortified beans in Rwanda. Proximity to formal delivery via sales of small packets of planting material quickens adoption and readoption, while delivery of larger quantities of planting material to small-scale producers within a village slows disadoption of iron-biofortified beans. Informal dissemination within social networks and access to extension are also major drivers of rapid adoption. In addition, households whose main decision maker for bean production is a woman, has some formal education, and more years of experience growing beans disadopt iron-biofortified beans more slowly than other households. These findings provide evidence that current efforts to promote iron-biofortified crops have been successful and are expected to inform future development of sustainable and cost-effective delivery models for biofortified crops in Rwanda and elsewhere.

publication date

  • 2019
  • 2019