Measuring the household coverage and quantifying nutrient contributions of biofortified foods in Musanze, Rwanda

GroundWork, Sagaci Research, University of Rwanda, and GAIN

May 2020 – Report Release, Geneva, Switzerland

While industrial food fortification has successfully reduced the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies, many countries contain a sizable proportion of the population that does not consume commonly-fortified foods, such as wheat flour and vegetable oil. Biofortification, the process of enhancing the micronutrient content in plants by plant breeding has been proven to fill the nutrient gap, especially in hard-to-reach populations. Biofortified crops are steadily being introduced, and the scale of many biofortification programs is increasing. Information on the coverage and consumption of industrially-fortified and biofortified foods is critical to assess the performance and potential for impact of programs and provide information for decision making related to program improvement. As part of this study, we developed and tested various indicators of coverage and consumption of biofortified foods, and estimated their contribution to nutrient intakes of children (6-59 months of age) and women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years) in rural and peri-urban settings. The study was conducted in Rwanda’s Musanze District, where biofortified beans and orange fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) programs are currently in place.