Agricultural Technology Adoption and Child Nutrition: Improved Maize Varieties in Rural Ethiopia

Adoption of agricultural technology can lead to multiple benefits to farm households, including increased productivity, incomes and food consumption. However, specific causal linkages between agricultural technology adoption and child nutrition outcomes are rarely explored in the literature. This paper helps bridge this gap through an impact assessment of the adoption of improved maize varieties on child nutrition outcomes using a recent household survey in rural Ethiopia. The conceptual linkage between adoption of improved maize varieties and child nutrition is first established using an agricultural household model. Instrumental variable (IV) estimation suggests the overall impacts of adoption on child height-for-age and weight-for-age z-scores to be positive and significant. Quantile IV regressions further reveal that such impacts are largest among children with poorest nutritional outcomes. By combining a decomposition procedure with system of equations estimation, it is found that the increase in own-produced maize consumption is the major channel through which adoption of improved maize varieties affects child nutrition.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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