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Agricultural Transformation and Food and Nutrition Security: Does Farm Production Diversity (Still) Matter for Dietary Diversity among Ghanaian Farm Households?

Olivier Ecker

No 276999, 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia from International Association of Agricultural Economists

Abstract: Africa has experienced rapid economic growth based on structural change in recent years. The growth acceleration in some countries, such as Ghana, was accompanied by substantial poverty reduction. Transformation of agriculture appears to have played a key role in this context. However, the implications of agricultural transformation for rural food and nutrition security in Africa are not well understood. This paper studies the case of Ghana a country that may have outlined an Africa-typical path of growth-enhancing structural change. The analysis first describes patterns of agricultural transformation at the farm household level and then estimates the (causal) effects of farm production diversity and household income on household dietary diversity, using data from 2005-06 and 2012-13. The estimation results suggest that farm production diversity does still matter for dietary diversity across rural Ghana. However, the dietary diversity effect of farm production diversity greatly decreases with advancing agricultural transformation especially in the South, while the dietary diversity effect of household income remains fairly constant and is large. This implies that policies and programs promoting farm production diversification are likely to be increasingly less effective in improving food and nutrition security among farm households, particularly compared to those stimulating rural income growth. Acknowledgement : I am very thankful to several of my (former) colleagues at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). I thank Jean-Fran ois Trinh Tan for his assistance in conducting the research for this paper and to Xinshen Diao for commenting on draft versions. I thank Carlo Azzarri and M lanie Bacou of the HarvestChoice program for providing spatial agroecological data. I highly appreciate the support of the Ghana Strategy Support Program. This work was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (grant number: EEM-G-00-04-00013).

Keywords: Food; Consumption/Nutrition/Food; Safety (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Date: 2018-07
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