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Purdue University (2020)

After the Project is Over : Measuring Longer-Term Impacts of a Food Safety Intervention in Senegal

Leavens Laura

Titre : After the Project is Over : Measuring Longer-Term Impacts of a Food Safety Intervention in Senegal

Auteur : Leavens Laura

Université de soutenance : Purdue University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2020

Résumé
Few studies in the economics of food safety literature follow-up with participants in the years after an intervention. This is particularly true in the context of food safety interventions in developing countries, which limits our ability to assess an intervention’s longer-term benefits, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. Responding to this shortfall, the present article follows up with about 2,000 smallholder households in Senegal, two years after participating in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) aimed at reducing levels of aflatoxins in smallholders’ stored maize. In the initial intervention, treated households were provided with training on proper post-harvest practices, low-cost moisture meters for testing if maize was sufficiently dry to store, plastic tarps for drying maize of the ground, and hermetic (airtight) storage bags to mitigate aflatoxin development in stored maize. Our findings show that in the longer-term, providing a combination of training, a moisture meter, and a tarp decreased levels of aflatoxins, by about 20 percent compared to the control group. Marginal effect estimates of the different technologies, indicated that the tarp was the key input driving these results. In the initial impact assessment from 2017 hermetic bags were found to be the most effective technology at reducing aflatoxins, but in the longer-term follow-up, they did not have a statistically significant impact. This is likely due to the bags more limited durability compared to tarps and the difficulty that respondents had purchasing replacement bags from the market. Cost-effectiveness estimates suggested providing training and a tarp is at least moderately cost-effective based on WHO guidelines for public health interventions. Our results demonstrate that providing information and simple, low-cost technologies can bring about sustained reductions in aflatoxins in smallholders’ maize. Finally, differences between the short-term and longer-term findings underscore the need for longer follow-up periods after conducting an intervention.

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Page publiée le 26 décembre 2022