Local Alternatives to Local Problems

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  • Title: Local Alternatives to Local Problems: The Contribution of Agroforestry System By-products to Food and Nutrition Security of Communities in Southwestern Ethiopia
  • Author(s): Daniel Callo-Concha, Omarsherif Mohamed, Habtamu Seyoum Aragaw
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Keywords: Hidden Hunger, Homegarden, Multi-Storey Coffee System, Multipurpose Trees on Farmlands, Potentially Edible Plants, Yayu Biosphere Reserve
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2160-1933 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2160-1941 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2160-1933/CGP/v09i01/29-42
  • Citation: Callo-Concha, Daniel, Omarsherif Mohamed, and Habtamu Seyoum Aragaw. 2019. "Local Alternatives to Local Problems: The Contribution of Agroforestry System By-products to Food and Nutrition Security of Communities in Southwestern Ethiopia." Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 9 (1): 29-42. doi:10.18848/2160-1933/CGP/v09i01/29-42.
  • Extent: 14 pages

Abstract

The montane rainforest of southwestern Ethiopia, coffee’s centre of origin, is dominated by multifunctional and multi-species agroforestry systems that broadly benefit farmer livelihoods. Although economic and environmental advantages are widely praised, the contributions of these systems to food and nutrition are mostly unaccounted. Hence, we evaluated the current and potential roles of agroforestry systems in strengthening the food and nutrition security of smallholder households by: (i) determining the agroforestry systems and identifying nutritionally valuable species occurring there, (ii) evaluating the householders’ nutritional status, and (iii) matching nutritional demands with the nutrients offered by the agroforestry systems. Mixed methods were applied including characterization of the households’ agroforestry plots, dietary and biometry assessment, and biochemical analyses. FAO suggested in-situ policies to improve food and nutrition security include facilitating access to foods and nutrients, making available food rich in important micronutrients, improving sanitation and health conditions, and increasing consumer purchasing power. This study directly targets (i) and (ii) by identifying underutilized potentially edible species, evaluating their nutritional content, and estimating agreement with local demands, and marginally (iii) and (iv) by eventual subsequent improved living conditions and potential additional income.