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Ly P.,Copenhagen University | Pillot D.,Montpellier SupAgro | Lamballe P.,Groupe de Recherche et dEchanges Technologiques GRET | de Neergaard A.,Copenhagen University
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2012

The mountains of northern Vietnam have lost significant forest cover during the last decades due to the conversion from natural vegetation to cultivated land, leading to the depletion of soil organic matter and land degradation. The study evaluated bamboo as an alternative cropping strategy in the northern central upland of Vietnam. We analyzed above-ground carbon fixing capacity of bamboo, accumulation of soil organic carbon, and socio-economic aspects as compared to other land use systems. Over the long term, a bamboo-based cropping system compared favorably to several other land use alternatives in the area. Compared to cassava, rice and maize, bamboo provides 49-89% higher average return to labor. Carbon content in bamboo's standing above-ground biomass is 17tonsha -1, 18% of that of forest. The soil organic carbon pool under bamboo amounts to 92tonsha -1 to 70cm depth, comparable to both forest and regenerated forest and 20% higher than land cultivated with cassava or maize. The study reveals that a shift in land use from annual crops to bamboo provides an annual net gain of soil organic carbon of approximately 0.44tonsha -1. Such a shift is constrained however by income insecurity in the early stages of plantation, because bamboo takes 3-4 years to mature and has a low return-per-area basis compared to annual cash crops. The study suggests that a crucial incentive for farmers shifting to bamboo production may be to create alternative off-farm income-generating activities which absorb the labor liberated by the labor extensive farming of bamboo. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source


Fiorentino M.,Groupe de Recherche et dEchanges Technologiques GRET | Bastard G.,Groupe de Recherche et dEchanges Technologiques GRET | Sembene M.,Ministere de leducation nationale | Fortin S.,IRD Montpellier | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background: Urban areas in West Africa are not immune to undernutrition with recent urbanization and high food prices being important factors. School children often have a poor nutritional status, potentially affecting their health and schooling performance. Yet, generally school children do not benefit from nutrition programs. The objective of the study was to assess the anthropometric and micronutrient status of children from state schools in the Dakar area. Methods: School children (n = 604) aged from 5 to 17 y (52.5% girls, 47.5% ≥10 y) were selected through a two-stage random cluster sample of children attending urban primary state schools in the Dakar area (30 schools x 20 children). The prevalence of stunting (height-for-age<-2 z-scores) and thinness (BMI-for-age<-2 z-scores, WHO 2006, and three grades of thinness corresponding to BMI of 18.5, 17.0 and 16.0 kg/m2 in adults) were calculated from weight and height. Hemoglobin, plasma concentrations of ferritin (FER), transferrin receptors (TfR), retinol binding protein (RBP), and zinc, and urinary iodine concentrations were measured. Correction factors were used for FER and RBP in subjects with inflammation determined with C-reactive protein and α1-acid-glycoprotein. Results: 4.9% of children were stunted, 18.4% were thin, 5.6% had severe thinness (BMI-for-age<-3 z-scores). Only one child had a BMI-for-age>2 z-scores. Prevalence of anemia, iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia was 14.4%, 39.1% and 10.6% respectively. 3.0% had vitamin A deficiency, 35.9% a marginal vitamin A status, and 25.9% zinc deficiency. Urinary iodine was <50 μg/L in 7.3% of children and ≥200 μg/L in 22.3%. The prevalence of marginal vitamin A, zinc deficiency, high TfR was significantly higher in boys than in girls (P<0.05). Height-for-age and retinol were significantly lower in participants ≥10 y and <10 y respectively. Conclusion: Undernutrition, especially thinness, iron and zinc deficiencies in school children in the Dakar area requires special targeted nutrition interventions. © 2013 Fiorentino et al. Source


Hieu N.T.,Groupe de Recherche et dEchanges Technologiques GRET | Sandalinas F.,IRD Montpellier | De Sesmaisons A.,Groupe de Recherche et dEchanges Technologiques GRET | Laillou A.,GAIN Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition | And 5 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2012

In Vietnam, nutrition interventions do not target school children despite a high prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies. The present randomised, placebo-controlled study evaluated the impact of providing school children (n 403) with daily multiple micronutrient-fortified biscuits (FB) or a weekly Fe supplement (SUP) on anaemia and Fe deficiency. Micronutrient status was assessed by concentrations of Hb, and plasma ferritin (PF), transferrin receptor (TfR), Zn and retinol. After 6 months of intervention, children receiving FB or SUP had a significantly better Fe status when compared with the control children (C), indicated by higher PF (FB: geometric mean 36•9 (95 % CI 28•0, 55•4) μg/l; SUP: geometric mean 46•0 (95 % CI 33•0, 71•7) μg/l; C: geometric mean 34•4 (95 % CI 15•2, 51•2) μg/l; P < 0•001) and lower TfR concentrations (FB: geometric mean 5•7 (95 % CI 4•8, 6•52) mg/l; SUP: geometric mean 5•5 (95 % CI 4•9, 6•2) mg/l; C: geometric mean 5•9 (95 % CI 5•1, 7•1) mg/l; P = 0•007). Consequently, body Fe was higher in children receiving FB (mean 5•6 (sd 2•2) mg/kg body weight) and SUP (mean 6•1 (sd 2•5) mg/kg body weight) compared with the C group (mean 4•2 (sd 3•3) mg/kg body weight, P < 0•001). However, anaemia prevalence was significantly lower only in the FB group (1•0 %) compared with the C group (10•4 %, P = 0•006), with the SUP group being intermediate (7•4 %). Children receiving FB had better weight-for-height Z-scores after the intervention than children receiving the SUP (P = 0•009). Vitamin A deficiency at baseline modified the intervention effect, with higher Hb concentrations in vitamin A-deficient children receiving FB but not in those receiving the SUP. This indicates that vitamin A deficiency is implicated in the high prevalence of anaemia in Vietnamese school children, and that interventions should take other deficiencies besides Fe into account to improve Hb concentrations. Provision of biscuits fortified with multiple micronutrients is effective in reducing anaemia prevalence in school children. © 2011 The Authors. Source

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