Published in BMC Public Health, 18: 988.
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Background: Despite some improvements towards reducing hunger, malnutrition remains to be a crucial challenge in the developing world. The objective of this paper is to analyze the interplay between production diversity and dietary diversity across different seasons in rural Nigeria. The paper also investigates the relationship across different income quantiles.
Method: The study uses the Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) dataset of the World Bank. We use two rounds of survey data (2010 and 2012) from Nigeria. Data were collected in two visits: at post-planting (from September to November), and at post-harvesting (from February to April). We analyze the relationship between production diversity and dietary diversity using different panel data regression tools.
Result: In post-harvest season, an increase in farm production diversification is associated with an increase with dietary diversity. On the other hand, production diversification does not have a significant contribution to the dietary diversity at post-planting. The analysis reveals that production diversification leads to better diet diversity for households in the second and third income quantiles.
Conclusion: Seasonal variation on the contribution of production diversification on dietary diversity in rural Nigeria calls for the role of seasonally targeted policies. A higher propensity of households in the poorest quantile for malnutrition irrespective of the season suggests the need for targeted and continuous public health and nutrition interventions.