Does adopting legume-based cropping practices improve the food security of small-scale farm households? Panel survey evidence from Zambia
Sauer, C., Mason, N., Maredia, M., and Mofya-Mukaka, R. 2018. Does adopting legume-based cropping practices improve small-scale farm households' food security? Panel survey evidence from Zambia. Food Security (November)
This study provides empirical evidence on whether and how integrating legumes into production systems affects measures of small-scale farm households’ food availability and access. We used nationally representative household panel survey data from Zambia to estimate the differential effects on cereal-growing households of incorporating grain legumes into their farms via cereal-legume intercropping, cereal-legume rotation, and other means (such as legume monocropping). Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that with all else equal, cereal-growing small-scale farm households that integrate grain legumes into their production systems have: (1) more availability of food as measured by total production of calories and protein; (2) more income from crop production or sales; and (3) increased food access. Results suggest that cereal-legume rotation was associated with statistically significant increases in production of calories and protein by a household as well as their gross value of crop sales; it may also improve their food access. In contrast, we found little evidence of statistically significant effects of cereal-legume intercropping and other forms of legume production on household food availability and access in Zambia.