The Effects of Smallholder Agricultural Involvement on Household Food Consumption and Dietary Diversity: Evidence from Malawi

International Conference of Agricultural Economists, Milan Italy 2015

27 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2019

See all articles by Rui S Benfica

Rui S Benfica

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Talip Kilic

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG)

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

We investigate how household agricultural involvement affects food consumption and dietary diversity in Malawi. Ceteris paribus, a 10% increase in onfarm income share increases food consumption/capita by 2.9%, calorie intake/person/day by 1.7%, and leads to small improvements in dietary diversity. There are significant differences in the relationship between on-farm income shares and caloric shares: a positive and significant relationship with the shares from energy dense/low protein cereals/grains, but not significant with shares from nuts/pulses and sugars. Negative relationships are found with shares from roots/tubers, vegetables/fruits, oils/fats, and meat/fish/milk. While food consumption and dietary diversity increase with agricultural involvement, the quality of diets is an issue. As purchased calories are associated with richer/high quality diets, particularly protein rich, households with lower dependency on agriculture meet those diets more easily, highlighting the importance of crop and income diversification to dietary diversity. Nutrition education and crop diversification programs can improve food security and nutritional outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Benfica, Rui S and Kilic, Talip, The Effects of Smallholder Agricultural Involvement on Household Food Consumption and Dietary Diversity: Evidence from Malawi (2016). International Conference of Agricultural Economists, Milan Italy 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3305055

Rui S Benfica (Contact Author)

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ( email )

Via Paolo di Dono
Rome, 00142
Italy

Talip Kilic

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG) ( email )

Via Labicana 110
Rome, Lazio 00184
Italy

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