If They Grow It, Will They Eat and Grow? Evidence from Zambia on Agricultural Diversity and Child Undernutrition
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In this article we address a gap in our understanding of how household agricultural production diversity affects the diets and nutrition of young children living in rural farming communities in sub-Saharan Africa. The specific objectives of this article are to assess: (1) the association between household agricultural production diversity and child dietary diversity; and (2) the association between household agricultural production diversity and child nutritional status. We use household survey data collected from 3,040 households as part of the Realigning Agriculture for Improved Nutrition (RAIN) intervention in Zambia. The data indicate low agricultural diversity, low dietary diversity and high levels of chronic malnutrition overall in this area. We find a strong positive association between production diversity and dietary diversity among younger children aged 6-23months, and significant positive associations between production diversity and height for age Z-scores and stunting among older children aged 24-59months.
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