System of Promoting Appropriate National Dynamism
for Agriculture and Nutrition


Agriculture and Child Under-Nutrition in India: A State Level Analysis

Publisher: Madras School of Economics

The literature review on agriculture - child nutrition linkage in dicates that the evidence base is weak and inconclusive (Kadiyala et al ., 2013). This paper explores the possible linkages between agricultural prosperity with rural child nutrition at the macro level , controlling for sanitation and safe drinking water, us ing panel data fixed effects and random effects models. The four alternate indicators of agricultural prosperity viz., agricultural growth, worker productivity, land productivity and food grain production per capita used alternatively enable us to conclude that negative influence of agricultural prosperity on child undernutrition exists, though the influence of various aspects of prosperity on underweight and stunting differ. Other aspects of agriculture considered , such as female agricultural wages help to reinforce the negative influence of agricultural prosperity on underweight in children and the land operational inequality dampens the impact of agricultural prosperity as it increases the incidence of stunting. Water and sanitation help reduce child unde rnutrition albeit differently on stunting and underweight. The same set of variables seems to influence stunting and underweight differently. Their trajectories seem to differ. The present study enables us to conclude that Indian agricultural growth throug h higher food grain production and through higher land productivity, when percolates through , labour productivity and higher wages, can reduce child undernutrition in rural India. However, public policy has to promote social provisioning of sanitation and health and make sure that agricultural growth is consistent. Public policy should ensure that growth translates into higher labour productivity and higher wages.

Author(s): R V Bhavani, Rohit Parasar, Swarna Vepa, Vinodhini Umashankar | Views(266)

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