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Enhancing food security through diet quality: The role of nonfarm work in rural India

Alwin D'Souza, Ashok Mishra () and Stefan Hirsch

Agricultural Economics, 2020, vol. 51, issue 1, 95-110

Abstract: India has achieved food security at the macro level. However, at the micro level, the country still struggles with extensive problems of food nutrition insecurity. In this paper, we assess the impact of nonfarm income and nonfarm work status (casual and full‐time nonfarm work) of operator, spouses, and couples on the diet quality of smallholder households in India. We find that nonfarm income decreases the likelihood of farming household being in the poor‐diet quality group by 31% and the medium‐diet quality group by 3%. Full‐time nonfarm work by operators and spouses decreases the likelihood of farming households being in the poor‐diet quality group by 3% and 9%, respectively. Finally, national programs like public food distribution programs increase the probability of rural farming households in the poor‐diet quality group. Findings from this study underscore the importance of nonfarm income and full‐time nonfarm work in improving diet quality of rural Indian households.

Date: 2020
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