Water use and nutrient content of crop and animal food products for improved household food security: A scoping study

OUTPUT TYPE: Monograph (Book)
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2013
TITLE AUTHOR(S): F.Wenhold, J.Annandale, M.Faber, T.Hart
KEYWORDS: AGRICULTURE, FARMERS, FOOD SECURITY, HOUSEHOLD INCOME, NUTRITION, POVERTY, RURAL COMMUNITIES, WATER SERVICE DELIVERY
DEPARTMENT: Economic Perfomance and Development (EPD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7571

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

The general objective of the project was to determine nutritionally important foods for the diet of rural households in South Africa, with specific reference to the poor; and to describe the nutrient content and water use of related unprocessed crop and animal products using existing knowledge. This exploratory project was a desktop study that systematically tried to examine the literature available. The report shows that whilst certain general trends have become apparent, there seems to be insufficient available evidence to compile one basket of contemporary food intake of poor households in rural areas of South Africa. Purchasing of staple foods seems to be the most important source, but regarding the foods of which intakes appear to be low (foods of animal origin, fruit and vegetables) and which could potentially be home-produced there is limited evidence of its source, including seasonality. The report also shows that information on the reasons for the foods consumed by rural South Africans is sparse and fragmented. Based on dietary as well as biochemical indicators, key micronutrients lacking in the diet are vitamin A, iron and zinc, which relates to low consumption of foods of animal origin, fruit and vegetables. The report includes an in-depth discussion of the nutrient composition of two crops: orange sweet potato and dark green leafy vegetables as a sub-group. Initial benchmark estimates of nutritional water productivity (NWP) for key nutrients of selected crops (cereals, legumes, fruit, dark green leafy vegetables, and yellow / orange vegetables) and animal food products were made. Gaps in existing knowledge and research were highlighted and the foundation for follow-up research was laid.