Trends in production and consumption of selected biofortified crops by rural communities in Zimbabwe
This study sought to assess trends in production and consumption of bio-fortified crops by rural communities with the view of improving nutrition in rural communities of Zimbabwe. Mixed research approach was employed. The study triangulated quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with farmers and District Food and Nutrition Security Committee (DFNSC) members. Key informant interviews were used to collect qualitative data whilst the survey method collected quantitative data. Secondary data on production of crops was gathered from the Agriculture Technical and Extension Services Department (AGRITEX).Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 was used to analyze quantitative data on evaluating the adoption rate of orange maize production and consumption view by rural communities of Zimbabwe. Data was entered on SPSS and data cleaning was executed on errors identified and were corrected. Data ranges in numerical values were used to eliminate erroneous data as a result of mistakes made during coding. Descriptive statistics were run on SPSS to generate frequencies and percentages of the knowledge and source of knowledge about biofortified crops, production and consumption levels of biofortified crops, taste preferences, source of seed for biofortified crops and marketing of biofortified crops produce. The findings were presented in form of graphs and tables. Qualitative data obtained during the FGDs and key informant interviews was transcribed and typed. Themes pertaining to evaluation of the adoption rate of biofortified crops production and consumption by rural communities were identified. The findings expanded the findings from the quantitative data as well as complementing explanations obtained from household questionnaires. Quotes were also used to present the data.The study noted that production of biofortified crops and consumption was low. However, a plethora of factors were highlighted to be the major hindrances to the production and consumption of biofortified crops. These were unavailability of biofortified seeds, poor yields of the orange maize variety, low producer price at the Grain Marketing Board, unable to distinguish yellow maize from orange maize and distance to seed markets. Due to low production trends, few people had consumed biofortified beans and orange maize.