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Child Under-weight and Agricultural Productivity in India: Implications to Public Provisioning and Women’s agency

Publisher: LANSA

India could achieve a reduction in child mortality rates but failed to achieve substantial reduction in child underweight and stunting. This study attempts an empirical explanation of the slow welfare outcome such as fewer underweight children with capitalistic aim of achieving higher land productivity in agriculture and social provisioning aim of better food and public health across 430 districts in India in 2004. The challenges revolve around understanding the role of agricultural productivity in reducing child under-nutrition in the rural and semi urban areas in which the agricultural production, trade and processing exist. The study excludes 100% urban and metropolitan districts. Women’s agency aspects of literacy and its interaction with work participation and pregnant women’s health status influence child-underweight. A simple Ordinary Least Square equation and quantile regression analysis, alternately using either land productivity or worker productivity in agriculture along with women’s agency aspects show stronger influence than the public provisioning of health and water supply. While agricultural land productivity and women’s agency impacts are clear at all levels, public provisioning works only in some quantiles, probably due to poor quality of the service or limited coverage of services. Further land inequity can hinder larger welfare gains in agricultural productivity and lacunae in the provisioning of public health and water supply causing Diarrhea hinder child welfare outcomes. Recent improvements may have occurred due to affordability improvements and strong women’s agency aspect at higher levels of income. The lower income groups may continue to be malnourished, due to weak public provisioning.

Author(s): R.V. Havani, Rohit Parasar, Brinda Vishwanathan, Swarna Vepa | Views(156)

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