Our work in India has shown that mothers with low intakes of micronutrient rich foods had babies with lower birth weights, and higher insulin resistance in childhood. Fruit and green leafy vegetables are micronutrient rich and culturally acceptable foods in India but in rural settings the consumption is low and the reasons for this are not clear. We therefore designed a qualitative study with the aim of identifying modifiable constraints and facilitators to fruit and green leafy vegetable intake, and, in the longer term, to design interventions to increase consumption of these foods.
This qualitative study comprised a ‘value chain analysis’ of selected exemplar fruit and green leafy vegetables in settings in the state of Maharashtra, India. The study involved agricultural scientists, economists and social scientists. We held workshops with stakeholders including policy makers and representatives of farmer and vendor groups (Figure 1), and interviews and focus group discussions with landowners, farmers, wholesalers and consumers (Figure 2). The work was led by Sarah Kehoe in conjunction with the Centre for the Study of Social Change (CSSC), MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).