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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 12, No. 1, 2012
Bioline Code: nd12004
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2012

 en MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT COUPLED WITH NUTRITION EDUCATION CAN HELP INCREASE CAREGIVERS' INCOMES AND HOUSEHOLD ACCESSIBILITY TO ANIMAL SOURCE FOODS
Homiah, PA; Sakyi-Dawson, O; Bonsu, AM & Marquis, GS

Abstract

Low income and lack of knowledge about child nutrition have been identified as key constraints to the use of Animal Source Foods (ASF) in the diets of young Ghanaian children. To improve ASF consumption among children in Ghana, the Enhancing Child Nutrition through Animal Source Food Management (ENAM) project introduced an intervention that combined women's microenterprise development activities with nutrition education on the importance of ASF in children's diets. The present study assessed the effects of the intervention on the participants' enterprise performance, their contribution to key household and child-related expenditures as well as their households' purchases of ASF. Additionally, household ASF consumption was assessed in monetary terms (measured in Ghana cedis (GH¢):1GH¢ = US$ 0.92).A structured questionnaire was used to interview 80 caregivers who participated in the ENAM project activities in four intervention communities and 80 non-participant caregivers in four control communities. Information solicited included household characteristics, profits from microenterprises and contributions to household food and non-food expenditures. Significantly more participant caregivers expanded (P=0.004) and diversified (P=0.004) their enterprises and, as a result, tended to have higher average enterprise profits (GH¢19.3 ± 2.2 vs. GH¢12.2 ± 1.9; P=0.08) and significantly higher savings (GH¢62.9 ± 2.2 vs. GH¢26.3 ± 1.9; P<0.05) than non-participant caregivers. In addition, the intervention was associated with significantly higher percentage of monetary contributions by caregivers towards children's health expenses (P<0.05), school expenses (P<0.01) as well as expenses on clothing and footwear (P<0.01). Caregivers' mean percentage contribution to household food expenses also tended to be higher (P<0.1) for participants (50.8 ± 3.5%) then for non-participants (41.8 ± 4.1%). Participant households also tended to spend more money (P<0.10) and consumed significantly more amounts (in monetary value) of ASF (P<0.01) than non-participant households. Being a participant in the ENAM project's microenterprise development and nutrition education activities was associated with higher enterprise profits, savings deposits, contributions to household- and children-related expenditures, and ASF consumption at the household level.

Keywords
Microcredit, Entrepreneurship, Income, Expenditures, Ghana

 
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