Effect of BRAC's rural development programme on calorie consumption
Objective: Explore the level of calorie consumption, and determine the effect of BRAC membership on calorie consumption of the programme participants. Methodology: The analysis was based on the daia on food intake by 2,061 households of the first round survey of the BRAC-ICDDR.B Joint Research Project in Matlab. Data were collected during Aprij-Augusi 1995 using a four-cell study design. Socioeconomic and food consumption data were collected through home visits through a 7-day recall of major food items. Daily household calorie consumption was divided by adult food consumption unit to obtain per capita calorie consumption. Variables found significant through bivariate analysis were regressed against calorie consumption less than 1805 kcal/day to assess the relative effect of BRAC membership. Results: Only 25% of the total households had adequate calorie intake (>2310 kcal/day). Per day calorie consumption was significantly higher among the BRAC member households compared to the BRAC non-members (p<0.05). Calorie consumption was significantly associated with household size, household land holding, occupation, and literacy of the household head, per capita monthly food and non-food expenditure (p<0.001). Controlling for those associated factors, the BRAC member households had 33% less possibilities to consume <1805 kcal/day compared to the non-member households (p<0.01). Conclusion: A vast rural population (75%) could not afford to meet the daily calorie requirement. It seems that an intervention, like that of BRAC, can have a significant impact in meeting the daily calorie requirement In-depth analysis is needed to determine the pathways through which different BRAC inputs lead to an increased calorie consumption.