This research documents the results of the piloting of an innovative technology with a limited-water fortification parboiling method developed by the University of Arkansas with eleven women rice parboiling cooperatives in Burkina Faso. The technology is easily adaptable to the parboiling method currently used in Burkina Faso (with some modifications), reduces water use and cost of fortificants contributing to food and nutritional security—particularly for women and children—and promotes economic empowerment of women in Burkina Faso. The paper also synthesizes two research papers on consumer preferences and willingness to pay for fortified rice products in Burkina Faso.
The results suggest that it is technically feasible to produce fortified rice using the limited-water method and brown rice as a feedstock, particularly for iron and zinc, for which the concentration levels were close to the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). From the sensory analysis, although there is nothing particularly wrong with fortified rice, urban and rural consumers preferred conventional and modified parboiled rice; and of all three rice products, consumers were more likely to buy the two rice alternatives rather than fortified rice.
The results from the experimental auctions show that most consumers were willing to pay the same price for fortified rice as for the conventional parboiled rice currently available on the market. Results showed that creating awareness on the benefits of fortified rice had a positive impact on consumers’ willingness to pay for it, and this was seen across all income levels. These results highlight the importance of designing an appropriate marketing campaign/awareness-raising to promote the nutritional benefits of fortified rice to increase the consumers’ willingness to pay for it.
This study is unique in that, to our knowledge, fortified rice is not available in Burkina Faso, and therefore there is no information about its technical and market feasibility. The results can be used by the government and private and public sector actors to develop strategies for the adoption of fortified rice as another potentially relevant tool to fight malnutrition in Burkina Faso.
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