More drought for better nutrition

agyei's picture

During this afternoon's oral presentation session "soil and soil fertility", a presentation from the project Healthy Land with controversial research title " Do we need more drought for better nutrition? - Water stress on nutrient content of food" was observed. Sahrah Fischers PhD work became center stage for discussion prior to the oral presentation given by Mr. Thomas Hilger in the absence of Sarah Fisher at this year's Tropentag. With such a conrtroversial heading, it wasn't surprising that the AUD E4 was almost filled to capacity with attendants who have been driven to the auditorium to unmask the villain.

Diving deeper into this research work, Mr. Hilger gave a clear introduction to this research by stating reasons why plants are important for human nutrition. Again, he pointed out clearly that with increasing extreme weather events, sudden drought periods can affect plant growth, bioavailability of nutrients and and quality of produced food. This then led to the aim of their study which was conducted in 2016 in two regions in East Africa (Kapchorwa, Uganda and Busia, Kenya) in order to identify whether drought have an impact on the nutrient composition of produced food.

With this objective at heart, a total of 127 maize grain samples and paired soil samples were randomly collected from local households in these two regions. Analysis of these samples yielded to very interesting results where the authors reported that maize grain nutrient in Kapchorwa region were higher than that in Busia region during the long rain season, while maize grain nutrient in Busia was higher than in Kapchorwa during the short rain season. They further related this contradicting results to the changes that occured in the rainfall patterns during the season.

Mr. Hilger concluded that extreme weather events have unpredictable effects on nutritional quality of food crops. He therefore recommended that further investigations to make best use of drought phenomena in order to improve the nutritional value of crops should be conducted. Owing to this conclusion and recommendation, the question of the day was not answered.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.