Does Sustainable Intensification of Maize Production Enhance Child Nutrition? Evidence from Rural Tanzania

Food insecurity, child malnutrition, and land degradation remain persistent problems in Sub-Saharan Africa. Agricultural sustainable intensification (SI) has been proposed as a possible solution to simultaneously address these challenges. Narrowly defined, SI entails raising agricultural productivity while preserving or improving the natural resource base, but broader definitions of SI require that it also maintain or enhance human well-being, including child nutrition. Yet there is little empirical evidence on if adoption of practices that contribute to SI from an environmental standpoint do indeed improve child nutrition. To begin to fill this gap, this study uses nationally representative household panel survey data from Tanzania to analyze the child nutrition effects of rural households’ adoption of farming practices that contribute to the SI of maize production, an important staple. We consider three soil fertility management practices and group households into four categories based on their use of the practices on their maize plots: Non-adoption; Intensification (use of inorganic fertilizer); Sustainable (use of organic fertilizer, maize-legume intercropping, or both); and SI (joint use of inorganic fertilizer with organic fertilizer and/or maize-legume intercropping).

Issue Date:
Oct 10 2017
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FSP Research Paper 80

 Record created 2017-11-27, last modified 2018-01-23

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