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Impact and Adoption of Quality Protein Maize in Ethiopia

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Shee
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Ethiopia is one of the most food-insecure countries in Africa where about 7 million school-age children are living in food-insecure parts of the country (Smith, 2013). Malnutrition is a serious public health concern for the country with over 38% of children under five years of age affected by stunting, and close to ten percent affected by wasting (Central Statistical Agency [Ethiopia] and ICF, 2016). Maize is among the most widely cultivated crops in Ethiopia. Ethiopian smallholders produce maize mainly for household consumption. According to the Agricultural Transformation Agency of Ethiopia (ATA), 75% of all maize produced is consumed by farming households. In consideration of the high yield of maize, producing and consuming maize provides the cheapest source of calorie intake to Ethiopian smallholders. Nationally, about 20.6% of per capita calorie intake originates from maize, which makes maize an important crop for food security in Ethiopia (Rashid, Lemma, & Getnet, 2010). However, the deficiency of essential amino-acids (lysine and tryptophan) in maize makes it necessary to improve its protein quality in order to improve the nutrition of farm households, especially those whose diets predominantly based on maize and whose consumption of supplemental protein-rich foods (including high-value animal-source protein) is limited. Accordingly, the introduction of quality protein maize (QPM) to Ethiopian farm households has been strongly recommended by ATA in its 2013-2017 Maize Sector Development Strategy. This set of biofortified maize varieties contain higher grain levels of lysine and tryptophan, are available at prices similar to conventional maize, and require similar growth conditions (Gunaratna, Moges and De Groote, 2019). Since 2012, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), together with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and other stakeholders have implemented the Nutritious Maize for Ethiopia (NuME) project in an effort to improve household food security and nutrition in Ethiopia. However, the adoption rate of QPM has been very low and a rigorous impact evaluation of QPM is scant. Using available baseline, midline, and endline household surveys, supported by primary qualitative research, this research aims at assessing adoption and impacts of QPM on household food and nutritional security, especially among young children and women of reproductive age.
The candidate will use mixed methods to evaluate the effects of QPM on household food security, household diets, and the nutritional adequacy of diets for women and children, and to understand the mechanisms through which these effects are realised. The candidate will have an agricultural or development economics background and have experience in programme evaluation including mixed methods. The candidate should have an interest in agriculture-nutrition frameworks and impact pathways.

For further information please contact the supervisor: Dr Apurba Shee ([Email Address Removed])

Bursary available (subject to satisfactory performance):
Year 1: £15,009 Year 2: In line with UKRI rate Year 3: In line with UKRI rate
Scholarships are available for three years, full-time study from the date scholars first register as an MPhil/PhD student with the university. The successful candidate will receive a waiver for tuition fees for the duration of their three-year scholarship. Students may be liable for tuition fees after this period. Applicants must meet the programme entry requirements.

For additional information about the scholarship please go to:

Please read this information before making an application. Applications need to be made online via No other form of application will be considered.

All applications must include the following information. Applications not containing these documents will not be considered.
• In the first part of the application select the following: Food Science and Marketing Economics (MPhil/PhD)

• Scholarship Reference Number (Ref) – included in the personal statement section together with your personal statement as to why you are applying

• a CV including 2 referees *

• academic qualification certificates/transcripts and IELTs/English Language certificate if you are an international applicant or if English is not your first language or you are from a country where English is not the majority spoken language as defined by the UK Border Agency *

*upload to the qualification section of the application form. Attachments need to be in PDF format.

The closing date for applications is midnight (UTC) on 20 November 2019
The scholarship must commence before 6 January 2020

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