Understanding the links between farmer’s income and nutritional status: a panel data analysis in the semi-arid tropics of India

Padmaja, R and Pramanik, S and Kavitha, K (2018) Understanding the links between farmer’s income and nutritional status: a panel data analysis in the semi-arid tropics of India. In: Contemporary Issues in Indian Agriculture. Social and Economic Change Monographs (60). Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, pp. 26-44. ISBN 8177911597

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Despite the strong economic growth, India continues to perform poorly on its nutritional indicators. The literature seems to suggest that there is a disconnection between economic growth and nutrition. The increasing understanding of nutrition and the shifting landscape of malnutrition in India and across the world has led to a focus on diet quality, an important ingredient for enhancing the nutritional status of women, men, boys and girls. There is a void in data and metrics on nutrition, especially linking to agriculture. This lack of data and evidence has led to little knowledge about dietary patterns, and limited understanding of how economic growth, agriculture, trade, food industiy and health policy may be used to improve diet quality. Drawing extensively on micro-level data from 433 households covering eight villages of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra, this paper basically attempts to answer the question on whether enhancing farmer’s income will lead to better food and nutrition security and therefore focuses on understanding how increases in income may have impacted on the nutrition of the members of the household. The data was collected from 2009 to 2014 as part of the Village Dynamics Studies in South Asia (VDSA) by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). Diet quality was measured using the dietary diversity scores calculated based on the consumption expenditure pattern. The analysis reveals significant changes in expenditure patterns on different food groups both temporally and spatially. Simpson Diversity Index on food expenditure varies from 0.81 to 0.86 in all the selected households across the three regions on an average. The food expenditure diversity among the sample households varies from 70 percent to 90 percent in the entire study period. Further, using Body Mass Index (BMI) as an outcome variable in all the study villages, obesity and overweight was showing an increasing trend while underweight and normal nutritional status were found to be stable. The Tobit regression analysis revealed that income and food expenditure play a significant role to enhance the household’s nutritional status. It can be inferred that, though improvements are made in reducing under nutrition, tendencies towards overweight or obesity are increasing. The paper suggests that diversification of agriculture towards high value commodities like fruits and vegetables can improve the diversity in the diets of the rural population especially for women, children and adolescents and thus bring about the desired nutritional outcomes.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions: Research Program : Innovation Systems for the Drylands (ISD)
Series Name: Social and Economic Change Monographs
Uncontrolled Keywords: Income, Dietary Diversity, Consumption Expenditure Pattern, Semi-Arid Tropics, Tobit Regression, Malnutrition, Household Nutritional Situation, Village Dynamics Studies in South Asia
Subjects: Others > Semi-Arid Tropics
Others > Village Level Studies
Others > Food and Nutrition
Others > Indian Agriculture
Others > India
Others > Village Dynamics Studies
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2018 07:03
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2020 09:35
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/10976
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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