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Evaluating the Impact of Biofortification: A Meta-analysis of Community-level Studies on Quality Protein Maize (QPM)

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  • Gunaratna, Nilupa S.
  • De Groote, Hugo
  • McCabe, G.P.

Abstract

Biofortification, or the genetic improvement of the nutritional quality of food crops, is a promising strategy to combat undernutrition, particularly among the rural poor in developing countries. However, traditional methods of impact assessment do not apply to biofortified crops as little or no yield increases are expected. Significant progress has been made to develop maize varieties with improved protein quality, collectively known as quality protein maize (QPM). Evidence for the impact of QPM at the community level, as demonstrated by randomized, controlled studies, was evaluated using meta-analysis. A new and generalizable effect size was proposed to quantify the impact of QPM on a key outcome, child growth. The results indicated that consumption of QPM instead of conventional maize leads to an 8% (95% CI: 4-12%) increase in the rate of growth in height and a 9% (95% CI: 4-12%) increase in the rate of growth in weight in infants and young children with mild to moderate undernutrition from populations in which maize is a significant part of the diet. These results are the first step in evaluating the potential economic impact of QPM by establishing and quantifying a link between use of the improved crop and nutritional outcomes. QPM can serve as a model for other biofortification efforts, and in particular, the conceptual framework and methodologies for impact assessment are directly applicable to other biofortified crops.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunaratna, Nilupa S. & De Groote, Hugo & McCabe, G.P., 2008. "Evaluating the Impact of Biofortification: A Meta-analysis of Community-level Studies on Quality Protein Maize (QPM)," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44166, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44166
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/44166
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zimmermann, Roukayatou & Qaim, Matin, 2004. "Potential health benefits of Golden Rice: a Philippine case study," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 147-168, April.
    2. Dawe, D. & Robertson, R. & Unnevehr, L., 2002. "Golden rice: what role could it play in alleviation of vitamin A deficiency?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5-6), pages 541-560.
    3. Meenakshi, J.V. & Johnson, Nancy L. & Manyong, Victor M. & DeGroote, Hugo & Javelosa, Josyline & Yanggen, David R. & Naher, Firdousi & Gonzalez, Carolina & García, James & Meng, Erika, 2010. "How Cost-Effective is Biofortification in Combating Micronutrient Malnutrition? An Ex ante Assessment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 64-75, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ouma, James Okuro & Bett, Charles & Githaigah, T., 2010. "Markets Access, Approaches and Opportunities for Quality Protein Maize Products," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 96173, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Impact assessment; biofortification; meta-analysis; Crop Production/Industries; Food Security and Poverty;

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