Food Security

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 47–59 | Cite as

Farm production diversity and dietary quality: linkages and measurement issues

Original Paper

Abstract

Recent research has analyzed whether higher levels of farm production diversity contribute to improved diets in smallholder farm households. We add to this literature by using and comparing different indicators, thus helping to better understand some of the underlying linkages. The analysis builds on data from Indonesia, Kenya, and Uganda. On the consumption side, we used 7-day food recall data to calculate various dietary indicators, such as dietary diversity scores, consumed quantities of fruits and vegetables, calories and micronutrients, and measures of nutritional adequacy. On the production side, we used a simple farm species count in addition to looking at the number of different food groups produced. Regression models showed that production diversity measured through simple species count is positively associated with most dietary indicators. However, when measuring production diversity in terms of the number of food groups produced, the association turns insignificant in many cases. Further analysis revealed that diverse subsistence production often contributes less to dietary diversity than cash income generated through market sales. If farm diversification responds to market incentives and builds on comparative advantage, it can contribute to improved income and nutrition. Yet, increasing the number of food groups produced on the farm independent of market incentives may foster subsistence, reduce income, and thus rather worsen dietary quality. The results suggest that improving the functioning of agricultural markets and smallholder market access are key strategies to enhance nutrition.

Keywords

Dietary diversity Micronutrients Nutrition-sensitive agriculture Smallholder farm households Developing countries 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the GlobalFood Program (grant number RTG 1666) and by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) (grant number 2813FSNu01).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12571_2017_762_MOESM1_ESM.docx (112 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 112 kb)

References

  1. Barrett, C. B. (2010). Food systems and the escape from poverty and ill-health traps in Sub-Sahara Africa. In P. Pinstrup-Andersen (Ed.), The African Food System and Its Interaction with Human Health and Nutrition (pp. 242–260). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press in cooperation with the United Nations University.Google Scholar
  2. Barrett, C. B., & Bevis, L. E. M. (2015). The micronutrients deficiencies challenge in African food systems. In D. E. Sahn (Ed.), The Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition: The Role of Food, Agriculture, and Targeted Policies (pp. 61–88). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berti, P. R. (2015). Relationship between production diversity and dietary diversity depends on how number of foods is counted. Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences USA, 112(42), e5656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burlingame, B., & Dernini, S. (Eds.). (2012). Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity: Directions and Solutions for Policy, Research and Action. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Bioversity International.Google Scholar
  5. Chege, C. G. K., Andersson, C. I. M., & Qaim, M. (2015). Impacts of supermarkets on farm household nutrition in Kenya. World Development, 72(1), 394–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chiputwa, B., & Qaim, M. (2016). Sustainability standards, gender, and nutrition among smallholder farmers in Uganda. Journal of Development Studies, 52(9), 1241–1257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chiputwa, B., Spielman, D. J., & Qaim, M. (2015). Food standards, certification, and poverty among coffee farmers in Uganda. World Development, 66(1), 400–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coates, J. (2013). Build it back better, deconstructing food security for improved measurement and action. Global Food Security, 2(3), 188–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. de Haen, H., Klasen, S., & Qaim, M. (2011). What do we really know? Metrics for food insecurity and undernutrition. Food Policy, 36(6), 760–769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. DeClerck, F. A. J., Fanzo, J., Palm, C., & Remans, R. (2011). Ecological approaches to human nutrition. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 32(1), S41–S50.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. DeFries, R., Fanzo, J., Remans, R., Palm, C., Wood, S., & Anderman, T. L. (2015). Metrics for land-scarce agriculture. Science, 349, 238–240.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Demmler, K. M., Ecker, O., & Qaim, M. (2018). Supermarket shopping and nutritional outcomes: A panel data analysis for urban Kenya. World Development, 102, 292–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Euler, M., Krishna, V., Schwarze, S., Siregar, H., & Qaim, M. (2017). Oil palm adoption, household welfare, and nutrition among smallholder farmers in Indonesia. World Development, 93, 319–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Euler, M., Schwarze, S., Siregar, H., & Qaim, M. (2016). Oil palm expansion among smallholder farmers in Sumatra, Indonesia. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 67(3), 658–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fafchamps, M., & Hill, R. (2005). Selling at the farmgate or traveling to market. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 87(3), 717–734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fanzo, J. C. (2017). Decisive decisions on production compared with market strategies to improve diets in rural Africa. Journal of Nutrition, 147(1), 1–2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Fanzo, J., Hunter, D., Borelli, T., & Mattei, F. (Eds.). (2013). Diversifying Food and Diets, Using Agricultural Diversity to Improve Nutrition and Health. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. FAO. (2016). Minimum dietary diversity for women: a guide for measurement. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  19. FAO. (2011). Guidelines for Measuring Household and Individual Dietary Diversity. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  20. FAO. (2010). World food dietary assessment system, Version 2.0. Rome: International Network of Food Data Systems, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  21. FAO, WHO, & UNO. (2004). Human energy requirements: Report of a joint FAO/WHO/UNU expert consultation : Rome, 17–24 October 2001. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  22. Geertz, C. (1978). The bazaar economy: Information and search in peasant marketing. American Economic Review, 68(2), 28–32.Google Scholar
  23. Godfray, H. C. J., Beddington, J. R., Crite, I. R., Haddad, L., Lawrence, D., Muir, J. F., Pretty, J., Robinson, S., Thomas, S. M., & Toulmin, C. (2010). Food security: the challenge of feeding 9 billion people. Science, 327(5967), 812–818.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Hatloy, A., Torheim, L. E., & Oshaug, A. (1998). Food variety - a good indicator of nutritional adequacy of the diet? A case study from an urban area in Mali, West Africa? European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 52, 891–898.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Hawkes, C. (2008). Dietary implications of supermarket development: A global perspective. Development Policy Review, 26(6), 657–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Headey, D., & Ecker, O. (2013). Rethinking the measurement of food security: From first principles to best practice. Food Security, 5(3), 327–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Herforth, A., & Ahmed, S. (2015). The food environment, its effects on dietary consumption, and potential for measurement within agriculture-nutrition interventions. Food Security, 7(3), 505–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hirvonen, K., & Hoddinott, J. (2017). Agricultural production and children’s diets: Evidence from rural Ethiopia. Agricultural Economics, 48, 469–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hirvonen, K., Taffesse, A. S., & Hassen, I. W. (2015). Seasonality and household diets in Ethiopia. Public Health Nutrition, 19(10), 1723–1730.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Horton, S., & Steckel, R. H. (2013). Global economic losses attributable to malnutrition 1990–2000 and projections to 2050. In B. Lombard (Ed.), How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World? A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050 (pp. 247–272). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. IFPRI. (2017). Global Nutrition Report. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  32. Jones, A. D. (2017). On-farm crop species richness is associated with household diet diversity and quality in subsistence- and market-oriented farming households in Malawi. Journal of Nutrition, 147(1), 86–96.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Jones, A. D., Shrinvas, A., & Bezner-Kerr, R. (2014). Farm production diversity is associated with greater household dietary diversity in Malawi: Findings from nationally representative data. Food Policy, 46(1), 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Keding, G. B., Msuya, J. M., Maass, B. L., & Krawinkel, M. B. (2012). Relating dietary diversity and food variety scores to vegetable production and socio-economic status of women in rural Tanzania. Food Security, 4(1), 129–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Khoury, C. K., Bjorkman, A. D., Dempewolf, H., Ramirez-Villegas, J., Guarino, L., Jarvis, A., Rieseberg, L. H., & Struik, P. C. (2014). Increasing homogeneity in global food supplies and the implications for food security. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 111(11), 4001–4006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Koppmair, S., & Qaim, M. (2017). Farm production diversity and individual-level dietary diversity. Public Health Nutrition, 20(11), 2070–2072.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Koppmair, S., Kassie, M., & Qaim, M. (2017). Farm production, market access and dietary diversity in Malawi. Public Health Nutrition, 20(2), 325–335.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Krishna, V. V., Euler, M., Siregar, H., Fathoni, Z., & Qaim, M. (2017). Differential livelihood impacts of oil palm expansion in Indonesia. Agricultural Economics, 48(5), 639–653.Google Scholar
  39. Loos, T. K., & Zeller, M. (2014). Milk sales and dietary diversity among the Maasai. Agricultural Economics, 45, 77–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Luckett, B. G., DeClerck, F. A. J., Fanzo, J., Mundorf, A. R., & Rose, D. (2015). Application of the nutrition functional diversity indicator to assess food system contributions to dietary diversity and sustainable diets of Malawian households. Public Health Nutrition, 18(13), 2479–2487.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Maxwell, D., Vaitla, B., & Coates, J. (2014). How do indicators of household food insecurity measure up? An empirical comparison from Ethiopia. Food Policy, 47(1), 107–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. M'Kaibi, F. K., Steyn, N. P., Ochola, S., & Du Plessis, L. (2015). Effects of agricultural biodiversity and seasonal rain on dietary adequacy and household food security in rural areas of Kenya. BMC Public Health, 15, 422.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Muller, C. (2009). Do agricultural outputs of partly autarkic peasants affect their health? Evidence from Rwanda. Food Policy, 34(2), 166–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Oyarzun, P. J., Borja, R. M., Sherwood, S., & Parra, V. (2013). Making Sense of Agrobiodiversity, Diet, and Intensification of Smallholder Family Farming in the Highland Andes of Ecuador. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 52(6), 515–541.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Pellegrini, L., & Tasciotti, L. (2014). Crop diversification, dietary diversity and agricultural income: Empirical evidence from eight developing countries. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 35(2), 211–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pingali, P. (2015). Agricultural policy and nutrition outcomes – getting beyond the preoccupation with staple grains. Food Security, 7(3), 583–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pinstrup-Andersen, P. (2013). Nutrition-sensitive food systems, From rhetoric to action. Lancet, 382(9890), 375–376.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Powell, B., Thilsted, S. H., Ickowitz, A., Termote, C., Sunderland, T., & Herforth, A. (2015). Improving diets with wild and cultivated biodiversity from across the landscape. Food Security, 7(3), 535–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Powell, B., Maundu, P., Kuhnlein, H. V., & Johns, T. (2013). Wild foods from farm and forest in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 52(6), 451–478.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Qaim, M. (2017). Globalisation of agrifood systems and sustainable nutrition. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 76(1), 12–21.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Remans, R., Wood, A. S., Saha, N., Anderman, T. L., & DeFries, R. S. (2014). Measuring nutritional diversity of national food supplies. Global Food Security, 3(3–4), 174–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Remans, R., Flynn, D. F. B., Mudiope, J., Mutuo, P. K., Nkhoma, P., Siriri, D., Sullivan, C., & Palm, C. A. (2011). Assessing nutritional diversity of cropping systems in African villages. PLoS One, 6(6), e21235.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  53. Rowland, D., Ickowitz, A., Powell, B., Nasi, R., & Sunderland, T. (2016). Forest foods and healthy diets: quantifying the contributions. Environmental Conservation, 1–13, doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892916000151.
  54. Ruel, M. T., & Alderman, H. (2013). Nutrition-sensitive interventions and programmes: how can they help to accelerate progress in improving maternal and child nutrition? Lancet, 382, 536–551.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Ruel, M. T. (2003). Operationalizing dietary diversity: A review of measurement issues and research priorities. Journal of Nutrition, 133(11), 3911S–3926S.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Sibhatu, K. T., & Qaim, M. (2017). Rural food security, subsistence agriculture, and seasonality. PLoS One, 12(10), e0186406.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  57. Sibhatu, K. T., Krishna, V. V., & Qaim, M. (2015). Production diversity and dietary diversity in smallholder farm households. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 112, 10657–10662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. SMILING (2013). Food composition table for Indonesia. South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization, Indonesia Ministry of Health, Indonesia, Wageningen University, The Netherlands. http://www.fao.org/infoods/infoods/tables-and-databases/asia/en/. Accessed 20 July 2015.
  59. Snapp, S. S., & Fisher, M. (2015). “Filling the maize basket” supports crop diversity and quality of household diet in Malawi. Food Security, 7(1), 83–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Swindale, A., & Bilinsky, P. (2006). Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) for Measurement of Household Food Access: Indicator Guide (v.2). Washington, D.C.: FHI 360/FANTA.Google Scholar
  61. Torheim, L. E., Ouattara, F., Diarra, M. M., Thiam, F. D., Barikmo, I., Hatloy, A., et al. (2004). Nutrient adequacy and dietary diversity in rural Mali: association and determinants. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 58(4), 594–604.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. USDA. (2005). Composition of foods, Raw, processed, prepared, national nutrient database for standard references, release 18. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture.Google Scholar
  63. Verger, E. O., Dop, M.-C., & Martin-Prével, Y. (2017). Not all dietary diversity scores can legitimately be interpreted as proxies of diet quality. Public Health Nutrition, 20(11), 2067–2068.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature and International Society for Plant Pathology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural DevelopmentUniversity of GoettingenGoettingenGermany

Personalised recommendations