The impact of new Rice for Africa (NERICA) adoption on household food security and health in the Gambia
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This paper investigates the impact of NERICA rice adoption on household food security and human health, using country-wide cross-sectional data of 502 rice farming households in The Gambia. We used food consumption scores and the number of household sick days per capita as outcome indicators of food security and health, respectively. The instrumental variable approach was used to identify causal effects of NERICA adoption on food security and health. We found significant differences in some key socio-economic and demographic characteristics between adopters and non-adopters of NERICA. To control for such differences and allow a causal interpretation of the impact of NERICA adoption, we estimated the Local Average Treatment Effect (LATE). Our analyses indicated that adoption of NERICA significantly increased household food security by 14 percentage points. This helps severely food insecure households to achieve acceptable food security status by enabling them to acquire cereals and tubers, pulses, vegetables and fruits on a daily basis. However, there was no significant impact of NERICA adoption on human health. Our findings indicate that NERICA can play an important role in fighting against food insecurity in The Gambia.
KeywordsCounterfactual Food security Health Instrumental variables NERICA The Gambia
The authors are grateful to the Global Rice Scholarship programme for financial assistance for the implementation of this study, as well as to the Africa Rice Center and University of Hohenheim for their technical assistance. We thank two anonymous reviewers and the editors of this journal for very useful comments.
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Conflict of interest
We declare that there is no conflict of interest.
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