Women’s Empowerment and Crop Diversification in Bangladesh: A Possible Pathway to Climate Change Adaptation and Better Nutrition

IFPRI Discussion Paper 1849, June 2019

31 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2019

See all articles by Alex De Pinto

Alex De Pinto

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Greg Seymour

CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets

Elizabeth Bryan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Prapti Bhandary

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: June 18, 2019

Abstract

The existing literature shows that climate change will likely affect several of the dimensions that determine people’s food security status in Bangladesh, from crop production to the availability of food products and their accessibility. Crop diversification represents a farm-level response that reduces exposure to climate-related risks and it has also been shown to increase diet diversity and contribute to the reduction in micronutrient deficiencies. In fact, the Government of Bangladesh has several policies in place that encourage and support agricultural diversification. However, despite this support the level of crop diversification in the country remains low. Women empowerment has been linked to diversified diets and positively associated with better child nutrition outcomes. Furthermore, although traditionally their role in agriculture tends to be undervalued, women involvement has already been shown to affect agricultural production choices and enhance technical efficiency. This paper connects three different areas of inquiry - climate change, gender and nutrition – by exploring whether women’s empowerment in agricultural production leads to increased diversification in the use of farmland. Specifically, we use a series of econometric techniques to evaluate whether there is sufficient evidence to claim that a higher levels of empowerment lead to greater diversity in the allocation of farmland to agricultural crops. Our results reveal that indeed some aspects of women empowerment, but not all, lead to a more diversified use of farmland and to a transition for cereal production to other uses like vegetables and fruits. These findings provide some possible pathways for gender-sensitive interventions that promote crop diversity as a risk management tool and as a way to improve the availability of nutritious crops.

Keywords: empowerment, women, gender, nutrition, diversification, climate change

Suggested Citation

De Pinto, Alex and Seymour, Greg and Bryan, Elizabeth and Bhandary, Prapti, Women’s Empowerment and Crop Diversification in Bangladesh: A Possible Pathway to Climate Change Adaptation and Better Nutrition (June 18, 2019). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1849, June 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3406316

Alex De Pinto (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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

Greg Seymour

CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets ( email )

United States

Elizabeth Bryan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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

Prapti Bhandary

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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

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