Farm-level production diversity and child and adolescent nutrition in rural sub-Saharan Africa: a multicountry, longitudinal study
May 2, 2022 - Author: Makaiko G Khonje, Jacob Ricker-Gilbert, Milu Muyanga, Matin Qaim
Khonje, M. G., Ricker-Gilbert, J., Muyanga, M., & Qaim, M. (2022). Farm-level production diversity and child and adolescent nutrition in rural sub-Saharan Africa: a multicountry, longitudinal study. The Lancet Planetary Health, 6(5), e391–e399.
Child malnutrition remains widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in rural areas where many households are involved in subsistence farming. Increasing farm-level production diversity (FPD) is often considered a useful strategy to improve child diets and nutrition, but the empirical evidence is mixed. Most studies have investigated associations between FPD and dietary diversity. We therefore aimed to analyse associations between FPD and child and adolescent nutritional status.
In this multicountry, longitudinal study, we used representative panel data from four countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda) to test the hypothesis that higher FPD is positively associated with child and adolescent nutritional status. The data were from the Living Standards Measurement Study–Integrated Surveys on Agriculture collected between 2008 and 2019. We included data from all children and adolescents aged 0–18 years with available anthropometric data who were living in households involved in farming activities for home consumption, market sales, or both. FPD was measured in terms of the number of different crop and livestock species and food groups produced on each farm. Child and adolescent nutritional status was measured in terms of height-for-age Z scores (HAZ). We estimated panel data regression models with correlated random effects to control for confounding factors and time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity.