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Understanding the Linkages between Crop Diversity and Household Dietary Diversity in the Semi-Arid Regions of India

Publisher: Agricultural Economics Research Review

Agriculture is fundamental to achieving nutrition goals; it provides the food, energy, and nutrients essential for human health and well-being. This paper has examined crop diversity and dietary diversity in six villages using the ICRISAT Village Level Studies (VLS) data from the Telangana and Maharashtra states of India. The study has used the data of cultivating households for constructing the crop diversity index while dietary diversity data is from the special purpose nutritional surveys conducted by ICRISAT in the six villages. The study has revealed that the cropping pattern is not uniform across the six study villages with dominance of mono cropping in Telangana villages and of mixed cropping in Maharashtra villages. The analysis has indicated a positive and significant correlation between crop diversity and household dietary diversity at the bivariate level. In multiple linear regression model, controlling for the other covariates, crop diversity has not shown a significant association with household dietary diversity. However, other covariates have shown strong association with dietary diversity. The regression results have revealed that households which cultivated minimum one food crop in a single cropping year have a significant and positive relationship with dietary diversity. From the study it can be inferred that crop diversity alone does not affect the household dietary diversity in the semi-arid tropics. Enhancing the evidence base and future research, especially in the fragile environment of semi-arid tropics, is highly recommended.

Author(s): Padmaja R., Soumitra P., Kavitha K. | Views(146)

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