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Marketing of red palm oil as a food source of vitamin A in Burkina Faso: A pilot project involving women's groups.
Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2001; 22(4):388-394.Consumption of red palm oil for its provitamin A activity could extend to nonproducing areas of Africa. To assess the impact of red palm oil introduction, vitamin A status was measured in a random sample of mother-child pairs in the pilot areas. This paper describes the marketing approach, the evaluation design, and results after one year. Red palm oil purchased in southern Burkina Faso is retailed in the north-central pilot area by women's groups. At onset, serum retinol was low in 66% of children and 43% of mothers. After one year, 94% of mothers reported liking red palm oil, 71% had purchased it, and 32% had consumed some in the last week. The rates of risk of inadequate vitamin A intake declined by one-third. Prior to scaling-up, the main challenges ahead are positioning red palm oil as a food supplement rather than a cooking oil, and determining whether the increased demand can be met by local production without undue pressure on prices. (author's)