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close this bookFood and Nutrition Bulletin Volume 11, Number 4, 1989 (UNU, 1989, 90 pages)
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News and notes

IFPRI report.

Nontraditional export crops in Guatemala: Effects on production, income, and nutrition. Joachim von Braun, David Hotchkiss, and Maarten Immink. Research Report no. 73. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, D.C., USA, in collaboration with the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), Guatemala City, Guatemala, 1989.

Modernization of traditional agriculture entails increased participation of the smallholder sector in the exchange economy. The achievement of this participation requires an open trade regime, domestic policies that ensure against market failures, and public policy that effectively permits use of new production technology for sustained growth. To open up these opportunities to small farmers, investment in rural infrastructure is essential, as is investment in education that will enable these farmers to participate as entrepreneurs in the growth process. In order to reach out to the landless and land-scarce households, the growth process must stimulate employment and increased returns to land. Non-traditional vegetables for export have a high labour content and therefore promise to help foster rural modernization.

This study of non-traditional export crops and traditional smallholder agriculture in Guatemala highlights the potentials and risks of export orientation in smallholder agriculture for food security. The policy implications of the report reach far beyond the study area in Central America. The multidisciplinary team of IFPRI and the Institute of Nutrition of Central

America and Panama (INCAP) has gone far toward tracing the critical linkages between economic development and nutritional improvement. Two lessons of the study are of critical importance for policy. First, growth in staple food production, stimulated jointly with diversification into non-traditional crops, is necessary to actually capture the gains from specialization in typically risky market environments. Second, joint operation and development of the health and sanitation infrastructure in rural areas is required in order to translate the growth effects into nutritional welfare effects for the poor.

Increasing foreign-exchange problems and deteriorating prices of traditional export commodities are leading agricultural policy makers to seek diversification in export-crop production. Export vegetables, which are non-traditional crops, appear to be a promising option because of their high labour intensity and expanding demand in industrialized countries. This study deals with a case of export-vegetable production and its effects on food production, employment, consumption, and nutrition in Guatemala.

Guatemala's agriculture has shifted away from food production to agro-industrial crops. Food crops covered 58 per cent of the country's crop area in 1950, compared with 37 per cent in 1979. Small farms decreased their basic food-crop area from 97 per cent to 87 per cent in this period.

The focus of this study is the recent introduction of labour-intensive production of vegetables for export in the traditional small-farm sector in the Western Highlands - an area well known for its problems of poverty and malnutrition. Besides considerable research on the "cash cropping-nutrition" issue, the study provides both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of effects. The research is based on two detailed rural household surveys (400 families) that were undertaken in 1983 and 1985. The sample is divided into two groups of households - those who produce the new export vegetables (snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and parsley) under a co-operative scheme, and those who do not. Differences in duration of participation (one to seven years) in the export-crop scheme - the Cuatro Pinos co-operative - characterize the subsample of the export crop growers.

The new export vegetables were rapidly adopted by the smallest farmers (average 0.7 hectare). The model analysis in the study shows that in the early phase of adoption, small farmers with somewhat larger holdings ( 1-2 hectares) and households that had no reasonably well secured off-farm income source showed a significantly higher probability of adoption. Access to good roads and infrastructure also increased adoption rates.

Analysis with the help of a consistent farm household model based on the survey data shows that with new export crops the shadow cost of maize produced for own consumption increased drastically. The difference between the shadow cost and the actual market price (0.29 quetzal in 1985) may be interpreted as an "insurance premium" that farmers are willing to pay for the degree of self-sufficiency they actually maintain.

Non-traditional export crops created local employment directly on farms and indirectly through forward and backward linkages and multiplier effects resulting from increased income spent locally. Combining farm-level employment with the roughly estimated employment created through the input supply and output marketing yields an overall 21 per cent increase in agricultural employment in the six communities where the co-operative functions. Labour input in agriculture increased by 45 per cent on the farms producing export vegetables. About half of this increase is due to family labour and half to hired labour. A substantial share of the incremental increase in family labour is from women and children. As a consequence of increased on-farm employment, off-farm work and interregional migration of members of export vegetable producers' households are found to be reduced.

 

SCN news

The Sub-committee on Nutrition (SCN) of the UN Administrative Committee on Coordination - established as the focal point for co-ordinating policies and activities related to nutrition of the agencies of the United Nations system, exchanging information and technical guidance, and acting dynamically to help the United Nations to respond to nutritional problems - compiles and disseminates information on nutrition reflecting the shared views of the agencies concerned.

Its newsletter, SCN News, and the following documents are available free of charge from the secretariat:

- First Report on the World Nutrition Situation (November 1987);
- Delivery of Oral Doses of Vitamin A to Prevent Vitamin A Deficiency and Nutritional Blindness, by Keith P. West, Jr., and Alfred Sommer, ACC/SCN State-of-the-Art Series, Nutrition Policy Discussion Paper no. 2;
- The Prevention and Control of iodine Deficiency Disorders, by Basil S. Hetzel, ACC/SCN State-of-the-Art Series, Nutrition Policy Discussion Paper no. 3;
- an "Update" report on world nutrition, issued in September 1988.

The SCN would also appreciate receiving information and material you would like to see included in future issues of SCN News.

Please write to: Dr. John B. Mason, Technical Secretary, ACC Sub-committee on Nutrition, c/o World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.

 

AEDA conference

The American European Dietetic Association will hold its 13th annual conference in Paris, 1-3 March 1990, under the theme "The View from Here." The official language of the conference will be English. For more information, contact: Robin Lee Kellerhals, R.D., 131, Av. Marechal Foch, 78400 Cathou, France.

 

IFT scientific status summaries

Copies of scientific status summaries by the Institute of Food Technologists' expert panel on Food Safety and Nutrition are sent free of charge to IFT members outside the United States. The latest summary published is Low-Calorie Foods. The following are among the other titles still available:

- Food Microbiology,
- The Risk/Benefit Concept as Applied to Food, - Microwave Food Processing,
- Virus Transmission via Foods,
- Migration of Toxicants, Flavors, and Odor-Active Substances from Flexible Packaging Materials to Food,
- Bacteria Associated with Foodborne Diseases,
- Food Biotechnology, - Effect of Food Processing on Nutritive Values, - Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), - Nutrition and the Elderly, - and eleven other titles published in former issues.

Copies may be requested from Dr. Miguel A. Jimenez, Editor, IFT International Newsletter, 1604 Treboy Ave., Richmond, VA 23226, USA.

 

Corrections

For "Breast Milk-the Life Saver," by K. A. Dualeh and F. J. Henry (Food and Nutrition Bulletin, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 43-46)

In the second column on page 44 in the above article, the words "lower" and "poorer" in lines 20 and 23 should be changed to "higher" and "better" respectively. The sentences in question should read: "A recent unpublished observation by A. Briend and colleagues, however, indicates that breast-fed children who were about to be weaned had a higher nutritional status than those who continued breast-feeding. This means that cessation of breast-feeding is not the main cause of the better nutritional state."

 

For "Nutritional Goals for Health in Latin America," by J. M. Bengoa, B. Torun, M. Behar, and N. S. Scrimshaw (Food and Nutrition Bulletin, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 4-20)

The above article was translated into English for the Bulletin before the final version was published in Spanish. Subsequently, some adjustments were made in the values recommended for several of the nutrients in the original Spanish text. In addition, leucine was inadvertently omitted from the reference amino acid patterns (table 2).

TABLE 2. Reference amino acid patterns - suitable for all age groups except infants (milligrams per gram of protein)

henylalanine/tyrosine

63

Histidine

19

Isoleucine

28

Leucine

66

Lysine

58

Methioninelcystine

25

Threonine

34

Tryptophan

11

Valine

35

Source: Ref. 2.

An erratum slip was issued with the article, but it did not include all of these changes, and such isolated corrections often are not entered or are lost. Therefore, tables 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7 are reprinted here in their entirety. Please substitute these for the corresponding tables in the original article.

TABLE 1. Calculated energy requirements for Latin America

Age (years) and sex Weight (kg) Activity level Requirement
Multiple of BMR Kcal/Kg/day kcal/day
0.3-3 -a     100 -a
3.1-5 16.5     95 1,550
5.1-7 20.5     88 1,800
7.1-10          
male 27     78 2,100
female 27     67 1,800
10.1-12          
           
male 34   1.75 64 2,200
female 36   1.64 54 1,950
12.1-14          
male 42   1.68 55 2,350
female 43   1.59 46 2,000
14.1-18          
male 45-55 light 1.62 54-45 2,450
    moderate 1.80 58-52 2,750
    high 2.10 67-61 3,200
female 40-50 light 1.55 48-42 2,000
    moderate 1.65 51-45 2,150
    high 1.80 56-49 2,350
18.1-65          
male 60-75 light 1.55 41-37 2,600
    moderate 1.80 48-43 3,050
    high 2.10 55-50 3,500
female 45-60 light 1.55 41-35 1.950
    moderate 1.65 44-37 2,100
    high 1.80 48-41 2,300
Over 65          
male 65 light 1.40 29 1,900
    moderate 1.60 34 2,200
    high 1.90 40 2,600
female 55 light 1.40 30 1,650
    moderate 1.60 34 1,850
    high 1.80 38 2,100

Calculated on basis of ref. 2.
a. Depends on age.

 

TABLE 4. Daily vitamin needs

Age (years)

Weight (kg)

Energy requirement (kcal)

Vitamins (units per 1,000 kcal of dietary energy)

Vit. A (m g)

Vit. C (mg)

Folate (m g)

Thiamine (mg)

Riboflavin (mg)

Niacin (mg)

0.5-1

9

900

270

22

70

0.4

0.5

6

1.1-3

12

1,250

375

31

100

0.5

0.8

9

3.1-5

16.5

1,550

465

39

125

0.6

0.9

11

5.1-7

20.5

1,800

540

45

145

0.7

1.1

13

7.1-10

27

1,950

585

49

155

0.8

1.2

14

10.1-12

35

2,100

630

52

170

0.8

1.3

15

Male                
12.1-14

42

2,350

705

59

190

0.9

1.4

16

14.1-18

50

2,750

825

69

220

1.1

1.6

19

18.1-65

68

3,050

915

76

245

1.2

1.8

21

over 65

65

2,200

660

55

175

0.9

1.3

15

Females                
12.1-14

43

2,000

600

50

160

0.8

1.2

14

14.1-18

45

2,150

645

54

170

0.9

1.3

15

18.1-65

53

2,100

630

52

170

0.8

1.3

15

Over 65

55

1,850

555

46

150

0.7

1.1

13

Pregnancya  

285

85

7

25

0.1

0.2

2

Lactationa  

500

150

12

40

0.2

0.3

4

Sources: Refs. 2 and 3.
a. Supplementary amounts.

TABLE 6. Daily mineral needs

Age (years)

Weight (kg)

Energy requirement (kcal)

Minerals (ma per 1,000 kcal of dietary energy)

Irona

Calcium

Zincb

H

I

L

H

L

0.5-1 9 900 4 6 12 450 5 9
1.1-3 12 1,250 6 8 17 625 8 12
3.1-5 16.5 1,550 7 10 21 775 9 16
5.1-7 20.5 1,800 8 12 24 900 11 18
7.1-10 27 1,950 9 13 26 975 12 20
10.1-12 35 2,100 9 14 28 1,050 13 21
Males                
12.1-14 42 2,350 11 16 32 1175 14 24
14.1-18 50 2,750 12 18 37 1375 16 28
18.1-65 68 3.050 14 20 41 1525 18 30
over 65 65 2,200 10 15 30 1100 13 22
Females                
12.1-14 43 2,000 9 13 27 1000 12 20
14.1-18 45 2,150 10 14 29 1075 13 22
18.1-65 53 2,100 9 14 28 1050 13 21
over 65 55 1,850 8 12 25 925 11 18
Pregnancyc   285

-d

140 2 3
Lactationc   500 205 3 5

Sources: Refs. 2, 3, and 9.
a. H, 1, and L indicate diets with high, intermediate, and low bioavailability of dietary iron respectively.
b. H and L indicate diets with high and low bioavailability of dietary zinc respectively.
c. Supplementary amounts.
d. Anaemia is prevented by good iron reserves before pregnancy and a diet with highly available (haem) iron. Otherwise, an iron supplement of 30 60 mg per day is needed during the second and third trimesters.

TABLE 7. Nutrient intakes to meet needs of all family members

Energy

Preschool: 0.6-0.8 kcal per millilitre of liquid food; approximately 2 kcal per gram of solid food

Other ages: 1.4-2.5 kcal per gram in total diet

Carbohydrates

150-175 g; to provide 60%-70% of total energy

Protein

25-30 g (<50% of animal origin); to provide 10%-12% of total energy

Fat

22-28 g (including intrinsic fat in foods); to provide 20%-25% of total energy

Saturated fat: <7-9 g (up to 1/3 of total fat); mono-unsaturated: 7-9 g; polyunsaturated: 7-9 g (Ratio of saturated to unsaturated: <=1. Amount of mono-unsaturated fat may be greater, provided ratio of saturated to unsaturated is observed and limit on total fat calories is not exceeded)

Cholesterol not to exceed 100 ma. Not to exceed a total of 300 mg per day for children

Fibre

>=8 g or >= 10g, depending on whether determined as water-soluble or as crude fibre

Vitamins

Vitamin A: 300 RE (1 RE [retinol equivalent] = 1µg of retinol or 6µg of ß-carotene)

Vitamin C: 25 ma; preferably ingested with meals to improve absorption of iron

Folates: 80µg A supplement of 200-300µg per day is often needed during pregnancy

Thiamine: 0.4 mg

Riboflavin: 0.6 mg

Niacin: 7 mg (or equivalent: 60 mg of trypotophan = 1 mg of niacin)

Minerals

Iron: 5,7, or 14 mg for diets with high, intermediate, or low bioavailability of iron respectively. A supplement of 30-60 mg per day is often needed during pregnancy

Zinc: 6 - 10 mg; need varies depending on the source and on other components in the diet (e.g. animal sources, phytates, etc.)

Calcium: 500 ma. More foods rich in calcium should be given to preschool children and adolescents, and during pregnancy and lactation iodine: 100-200µg per day in areas without goitre; 300 400µg per day in areas with goitre (fortification of salt usually necessary)

Fluorine: 0.7-1.0 ma; sources of water with I ppm or more will meet this need

Sodium: Limit total ingestion of salt to 5 g per day (preferably less)

Values are per 1,000 kcal of dietary energy except as otherwise indicated.