Income and Nutritional Effects of the Commercialization of Agriculture in Southwestern Kenya

The commercialization of Agriculture is the cornerstone on economic development in the most developing countries. Yet relatively little is known about the income and nutritional effects of increasing commercial Agriculture. The present study by Eileen Kennedy and Bruce Cogill is the first in a series of studies conducted by IFPRI in Africa, Asia, and Central America to assess the effects of the commercialization of Agriculture on production, consumption, and nutrition status. In 1983 IFPRI was invited by the government of Kenya to undertake a study of the production and consumption effects of a smallholder sugarcane contracting scheme in Southwestern Kenya. The resulting study is unusual because it uses a random sample of farmers at various stages of sugarcane farming and collected data over two maize-growing seasons. Detailed data are presented on the trade-offs between the major food crop, furthermore, it traces the links between income from sugarcane and the associated food intake, morbidity, and nutritional status of women and children. Incomes of the farmers are increasing significantly as a result of participation in the sugarcane outgrowers’ scheme. However, this increased income does not translate into improvements in child health and nutritional status, at least in the short run. The healthy/ satiation environment is a key determinant of a child’s morbidity and growth. The Agricultural/health linkages need to be considered in anticipating the impact Agricultural development strategies on preschoolers. The report indentifies positive effects of commercial agriculture and ways to enhance these and thus allows policymakers to use these data to fine-tune future schemes of this type.

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0-89629-065-4 (Other)
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Research Report

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-25

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