Considering Health and Nutrition in Agricultural Production Decisions: Evidence from Tanzania

Martha Rogers, University of Minnesota
Helen Markelova, University of Minnesota

We look at whether households forgo a market-oriented agricultural production portfolio for a nutrition-based agricultural production portfolio that is aimed at meeting household nutritional demands. In developing countries, rural households face challenges in accessing or purchasing food on the local markets and may choose to overcome these market failures by producing crops for home consumption. To answer this question, we use the Tanzania Living Standards Measurement Survey, a nationally representative panel data set. We apply two food and nutritional decomposition methodologies developed in the nutrition literature to disaggregate household consumption data – the household dietary diversity score and a direct decomposition of food consumption into energy (kcal), protein, and key vitamins and minerals. Our research findings will have important implications for agricultural programs in developing countries that aim to increase household incomes through cash crop production but do not consider the impact of these programs on household health and nutrition.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality