Nutritional Barriers to Agricultural Productivity in Smallholder Farm Households: Panel Data Evidence from Uganda

Apr 13, 2018, 10:30am - 12:00pm

Rosemary Isoto, Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, will present Nutritional Barriers to Agricultural Productivity in Smallholder Farm Households: Panel Data Evidence from Uganda as part of the AEDE Applied Economics Seminar Series on Friday, April 13thfrom 10:30am-12:00pm in Room 250A, Agricultural Administration (2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, OH 43210).

Abstract: Malnourishment is common among rural smallholder farmers in many parts of developing countries. Insufficient nutrient intake given very high labor requirements limit productivity contributing to a vicious cycle of under-nutrition and poverty. The overall objective of this study was to assess the impact of macronutrient and micronutrient intake on labor productivity and examine output composition effects for different gender. Specifically, the study: assessed the impact of nutritional intake on labor productivity; examined gender differences in deficiency of these nutrients and the resulting effect on productivity; and assessed the threshold levels for macronutrient and micronutrient intake needed to achieve some level of agricultural productivity.

The study utilized a panel dataset from Uganda National Panel Surveys that is representative at the national and regional levels of Uganda. We used the Fixed Effects Instrumental Variable approach to address issues of unobserved fixed effects as well as simultaneity. Furthermore, multivariate analysis was used to disaggregate the sample and thereafter, instrumental variable threshold regression was used to obtain threshold values for the nutrients.

The results show that calories, proteins, calcium, iron, vitamin C and vitamin A positively and significantly affect labor productivity. The female model results revealed that nutrient intake increased the value of output by almost twice the effect it had on the value of output for the male model. Although several studies have showed that the nutrient-productivity hypothesis seems not to hold in developed countries, these results show that this hypothesis still holds in developing, countries. Hence, gender sensitive policies must be taken into consideration to benefit agricultural sector.

Light refreshments will be served prior to the seminar. This seminar is open to the public. No RSVP is required.