Linkages between dietary diversity and indicators of agricultural biodiversity in Burkina Faso

Abstract

This paper assesses the relationships between women’s dietary diversity and various indicators of agricultural biodiversity in farms of the Hauts-Bassins, a cotton-growing region in rural western Burkina Faso. A sample of 579 farms representative of the region was surveyed at three different periods of the year. Using a qualitative 24-h dietary recall, we computed a women’s dietary diversity score (WDDS-10) based on ten food groups. We used four crop diversity indicators: crop count (CC), Simpson’s index (SI), nutritional functional diversity (NFD) and production diversity score (PDS) based on the same food groups as in the WDDS-10. We also counted the number of agroforestry tree species that provide food and the number of animal species raised. Mean WDDS-10 was low (3.4 ± 1.5 food groups) and did not vary between seasons, whereas the food groups consumed changed according to harvests. Farm production is based on cereals and cotton with low diversity (on average 2.2 ± 1.0 food groups were cultivated on each farm). Results of mixed models showed that WDDS-10 is positively associated with PDS and the number of agroforestry trees species. In this area, dietary diversity of women in farming households depends on the on-farm production of nutritionally diverse crops, partly because when a crop is produced some of it is usually consumed by the members of the farm household. In addition, WDDS-10 was found to be negatively associated with cotton production when managed by male farm heads, but positively when managed by women. Our results show that assessing the relationships between WDDS-10 and agricultural biodiversity depends on how the latter is assessed. In Burkina Faso, enhancing agricultural biodiversity, especially nutrient-dense crops and agroforestry trees, could be an appropriate way to improve dietary diversity.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    We added Bhagowalia et al. (2012); Hirvonen and Hoddinott (2017); Luna-González and Sørensen (2018); Mulmi et al. (2017); Sibhatu and Qaim (2018a) because they met the following criteria: written in English, with at least 1 metric of agricultural diversity and 1 metric of diet or nutrition outcome, and concern entire farm systems (not a specific crop or gardening).

  2. 2.

    https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list

  3. 3.

    https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx.

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Acknowledgements

Final proofreading: Emmanuelle Bouquet, Cirad (emmanuelle.bouquet@cirad.fr).

Authors ‘contributions

Conceptualization, methodology and analysis: All authors; Investigation: Alissia Lourme-Ruiz; Writing - original draft preparation: Alissia Lourme-Ruiz; Review and editing: Sandrine Dury, Yves Martin-Prével; Funding acquisition: Sandrine Dury.

Funding

The RELAX project (N° AF 1507–329; N° FC 2015–2440, N° FDNC Engt 00063479) is funded under the « Thought for Food » initiative, by Agropolis Fondation (ANR-10-LABX-0001-01), by Fondazione Cariplo by Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (embedded in the « Relax » programme approved by the ethic committee for health research of Burkina Faso, No 2018–7-102) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 8 Summary of agricultural diversity indicators used in the article on linkages between agricultural diversity and farmers’ dietary diversity
Table 9 Nutrients used in the NFD indicator with their recommended dietary allowance

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Lourme-Ruiz, A., Dury, S. & Martin-Prével, Y. Linkages between dietary diversity and indicators of agricultural biodiversity in Burkina Faso. Food Sec. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-020-01137-5

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Keywords

  • Agricultural biodiversity
  • Crop diversity
  • Cotton
  • Dietary diversity
  • Seasonality