Do Grassroots Interventions Relax Behavioral Constraints to the Adoption of Nutrition-Sensitive Food Production Systems?

IFPRI Discussion Paper 1839

45 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2019

See all articles by Muzna Fatima Alvi

Muzna Fatima Alvi

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Patrick S. Ward

Duke Kunshan University

Simrin Makhija

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: May 25, 2019

Abstract

In many developing countries, agricultural policies and programs are often designed in a way to promote productivity growth with modern inputs and technologies, and with limited reference to the nutrition gains that can be made through production diversification. We test whether grassroots programs can relax behavioral constraints inhibiting the adoption of diversified nutrition-sensitive production systems. We use a series of lab-in-field experiments and survey instruments in Odisha, India to elicit male and female farmers’ preferences for risk, aversion to loss, empowerment and aspirations for one’s self and children. We find that respondents in villages where grassroots interventions were promoted showed significantly lower levels of risk aversion, higher levels of loss aversion and higher aspirations for themselves and their children, along with improvements in production and consumption diversity. Insights into the prevalence of behavioral constraints and interventions that relax such constraints fills an important knowledge gap in how to design programs that promote more nutrition-sensitive food production systems.

Keywords: nutrition, production systems, agricultural productivity, diversification, food systems, intervention

Suggested Citation

Alvi, Muzna Fatima and Ward, Patrick S. and Makhija, Simrin and Spielman, David J., Do Grassroots Interventions Relax Behavioral Constraints to the Adoption of Nutrition-Sensitive Food Production Systems? (May 25, 2019). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1839, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3396731

Muzna Fatima Alvi (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

2033 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States

Patrick S. Ward

Duke Kunshan University ( email )

No. 8 Duke Avenue
Kunshan, Jiangsu 215316
China

Simrin Makhija

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

2033 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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