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Abstract

The primary objective of this paper is the consideration of the hypothesis that cash cropping has a negative impact on food consumption. An adequate consideration of this first hypothesis leads the analyst to scrutinize the diametrically opposing viewpoint as well. This second viewpoint is based on the conviction that nutritional problems will be overcome within the general process of economic development and that market specialization and integration are essential factors in that development process. The establishment of these two extreme hypotheses, these two "strawmen," will provide a framework within which a number of other objectives can be considered. In the order in which they are treated, they are: (1) The clarification of the "role" of nutrition in economic development; (2) The identification and evaluation of the broad range of factors beyond market integration which influence nutritional status; (3) The identification of the mechanisms by which the spread of cash crops affects food consumption and an analysis of the empirical record in this area; and (4) The examination at the household level of the relationship between food consumption goals and other family goals.

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