Comprehensive baseline study on orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) among children (6-59 months) and women (15-49 years) in Benin: Local processing methods and socio-cultural factors influencing its acceptance

In Benin, women and children barely have access to a balanced diet and are therefore more likely to develop micronutrient deficiencies such as that of vitamin A. Regarding the prevalence of that deficiency, more effective counteractive strategies need to be developed. This study aims at investigating the traditional processing methods of orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP), a vitamin A biofortified crop, and identifying factors that influence its acceptance among children (06-59 months) and women (15-49 years) in Benin. A cross-sectional, observational and descriptive study design was used to collect qualitative and quantitative data through a community-based survey (196 households, 71 sweet potato processors); and group sessions (30 sessions with 8-10 participants per session). Quantitative and qualitative data analyses were performed. Frying (83.1%) and boiling (22.54%) were the most recurrent sweet potato processing methods. As for determinants, in internal factors “Knowledge about OFSP’’ (β=.541; P<0.001) was the best predictor of ‘’Health behaviour identity’’ which in turn was significantly correlated with “Perceived barriers” (β=.-.146; P<0.005) and “Attitudes towards behaviour” (β=.155; P<0.05), both being significant predictors of OFSP consumption but negatively and positively associated with the latter, respectively. In external factors, ‘’Subjective norms’’ (β=.410, P<0.001) were the predictor of OFSP consumption. For participants to adopt positive attitudes towards OFSP consumption: i) health benefits of OFSP consumption should always be included in key messages during any nutritional intervention; ii) flaws related to OFSP agronomics traits and organoleptic characteristics and issues related to its market demand should also be addressed, iii) social organisation and the way of sharing responsibilities of respondents are to be also valued as important. Future research should focus on how effective the above-mentioned predictors are on the rate of OFSP acceptance and consumption. Keywords: Benin, community based-survey, external factors, internal factors, OFSP consumption, predictors, Vitamin A
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
West Africa
RUFORUM Working document series
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Web resource