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Household behaviour and nutrition-sensitive agricultural practices: Experiences of smallholder farmers in Northern West Bengal, India

Nayana Baral, Bidur Paria, Bhagirath Behera and Pulak Mishra

World Development Perspectives, 2021, vol. 21, issue C

Abstract: Given persistent malnutrition, especially among children and women, promoting nutrition-sensitive farming practices among smallholder farmers is often suggested as a potential pathway. However, an important question is, do the smallholder farmers in developing countries like India consider nutritional value of crops while making their cropping decisions? This paper analyzes behaviour of such households’ towards nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) in West Bengal, India. Based on both primary and secondary data, it is found that households’ awareness about NSA depends on their landholding size. The land rich farmers are better aware about the nutritional values of crops, whereas decisions for self-consumption of nutritious vegetables by female members positively influence the awareness level. Besides, land-constrained farmers prefer to sell their produce for cash income rather than self-consumption. This can potentially undermine their nutritional status, particularly when large part of income is spent on non-food items. The findings provide important directions for intervention strategies to promote NSA through land-constrained farmers.

Keywords: Smallholder farmers; Crop diversification; Self-consumption; Nutrition awareness; West Bengal; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.wdp.2021.100296

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