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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."


Nexus of seasonality, dietary practice, and nutritional status among children across agro-ecologies in southern Ethiopia

Dagem Ayele1, Jan Frank2, Samson Gebreselassie3

1Hawassa university, College of agriculture , department human nutrition, food science and post harvest technology, Ethiopia
2University of hohenheim, Institute of nutritional sciences
3Addis ababa university, School of public health


Abstract


The disparity in seasonality and agro-ecological zone in food availability and access contribute to poor nutrition and attributes in malnutrition mainly in subsistence agricultural farming communities. However, a limited number of studies considered these dynamics. Thus, the present study aimed to assess the relationship among seasonality, agro-ecology, nutritional status, and infant and young child (6-23 months) feeding practice (IYCF) in rural Southern Ethiopia. To this end, two community-based cross-sectional surveys were employed in 507 children screened using multi-stage sampling method. On average 74 % of the mothers was initiated timely complementary feeding, highest in lowland 81.3 %. Infant diet diversity score (IDDS) improved from post-harvest 14.4 % to wet lean season 16.4%. Despite the agro-ecological disparity, more than 50 % of the children met minimum meal frequency (MMF). Consumption of pro-vitamin A foods, grains, roots, and tubers, and other fruits and vegetables showed significant differences across seasons (McNemar’s test, p<0.05). In contrast seasonal variation has no association with consumption of either iron-rich or animal source foods. Similarly prevalence of stunting and wasting significantly different across season (Wilcoxon signed rank test, p <.001.). The highest prevalence in stunting was 44.6 % in midland during wet lean season followed by 36.4 % and 33.9 % in lowlanders and highlanders children respectively. On the other hand, the prevalence of wasting was noted almost unwavering during postharvest 7.2 %, 7.1 %, and 7.2 % highland, midland, and lowland respectively, but dropped significantly to 1.2 %, 1.6 %, and nearly zero respectively in the wet lean season.
In the current study the multivariate analysis result revealed low socioeconomic, socio-demographic characteristics and poor feeding practice, child age, low maternal educational level, timely complementary feeding initiation, access to media, colostrum feeding, low non-monetary wealth, low household annual income contributed to child malnutrition and poor IYCF at (p < 0.05). Therefore, to improve the current inadequate IYCF practice and alleviate malnutrition, policy should focus on rural women's employment opportunities, access to media, maternal education, and postnatal care service.


Keywords: Agroecology, dietary practice, seasonality, stunting and child-nutrition


Contact Address: Dagem Ayele, Hawassa university, College of agriculture , department human nutrition, food science and post harvest technology, Hawassa university, 05 Hawassa, Ethiopia, e-mail: dagemalem@hu.edu.et


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