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Does adopting legume-based cropping practices improve the food security of small-scale farm households? Panel survey evidence from Zambia

Christine M. Sauer (), Nicole M. Mason, Mywish Maredia and Rhoda Mukuka
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Christine M. Sauer: Michigan State University
Nicole M. Mason: Michigan State University

Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, 2018, vol. 10, issue 6, No 14, 1463-1478

Abstract: Abstract This study provides empirical evidence on whether and how integrating legumes into production systems affects measures of small-scale farm households’ food availability and access. We used nationally representative household panel survey data from Zambia to estimate the differential effects on cereal-growing households of incorporating grain legumes into their farms via cereal-legume intercropping, cereal-legume rotation, and other means (such as legume monocropping). Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that with all else equal, cereal-growing small-scale farm households that integrate grain legumes into their production systems have: (1) more availability of food as measured by total production of calories and protein; (2) more income from crop production or sales; and (3) increased food access. Results suggest that cereal-legume rotation was associated with statistically significant increases in production of calories and protein by a household as well as their gross value of crop sales; it may also improve their food access. In contrast, we found little evidence of statistically significant effects of cereal-legume intercropping and other forms of legume production on household food availability and access in Zambia.

Keywords: Grain legume; Crop rotation; Intercropping; Food security; Nutrition; Zambia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s12571-018-0859-3

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Handle: RePEc:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:6:d:10.1007_s12571-018-0859-3