Since 2008, vitamin A biofortified maize (VAM) has been promoted in Zambia with an aim to curtail vitamin A deficiency among vulnerable populations. For VAM to gain wide-spread adoption, the experience and attitudes of first wave of adopters, towards VAM should be understood. The aim of this study is to assess if the current promotion and delivery efforts for VAM are reaching their intended target group. In particular we focus on women adoptersâ evaluation of VAM since they are the main household members responsible for food consumption and nutrition in their households.
In 2014, VAM seed with competitive agronomic traits was promoted and delivered to farmers through various channels including agrodealers, women groups, lead farmers, health centers, and schools. Following the 2014 rainy season, a farmer feedback study was conducted in Eastern Province interviewing seed recipients from all delivery channels.
The results indicate that female-headed households, households with at least one female recipient, and households where women are the main decision maker are willing-to-pay a higher premium for the VAM seed than other households. Furthermore, women who received the seed from health centers and schools plan on acquiring more of VAM seed in the coming season and have recommended the VAM seed to more people than those in other delivery channels.
This study provides evidence of the effectiveness of the approach in reaching women as a driving mechanism for adoption of nutritious VAM. Delivering VAM to mothers through health centers and schools represents a potential forward linkage for diffusion.