Climate, climate shocks and child nutrition in Africa’s diverse farming systems

Notwithstanding improvements over the last several decades, food and nutrition insecurity is still widespread and progresses made have been uneven. In Africa, the central and western parts scored the lowest and highest reduction in malnutrition, respectively. This regional heterogeneity is expected given the spatial variation in (inclusive) economic growth, agro-ecology, market access, the prevalence of diseases and infections, as well as institutional and policy environments (e.g., social protection systems) that affect the various dimensions of food and nutrition security. At the same time, climatic and weather changes are expected to worsen in the coming decades with potentially devastating effects in the region, given its heavily relies on rain-fed agriculture and the market and institutional failures that limit the set of coping and adaptation strategies. This study examines the linkages between climatic shocks and child undernutrition in the diverse farming systems of Africa. We examine effects of climatic changes not only through yields (agricultural mechanism) but also through vector-borne and gastrointestinal diseases (health mechanism). Preliminary results suggest significant heterogeneity in the incidence of child undernutrition and the effects of climatic shocks by agro-ecology and farming systems, meriting further investigation we are currently undertaking to disentangle the role of each mechanism.

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JEL Codes:
Q18; I31

 Record created 2018-08-16, last modified 2020-10-28

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