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Production of Indigenous Food Crops: Implications for Children’s Nutritional Status of Farm Households in Northern Ghana

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This paper examines the effect of indigenous food crops on the nutrition security outcomes of children in farm households. Using a standard treatment effect model, data on children under 5 years of age from 250 farm households in selected rural districts of northern Ghana were analysed. A multistage sampling procedure was used. Descriptive statistics show high rates of child wasting (16.7%), stunting (29.8%) and underweight (25.2%), but suggest better nutritional status for children in indigenous food crops producer households than those in non-producer households. Children in producer households have higher height-for-age; weight-for-height and weight-for-age z-scores than children in non-producer households. The findings suggest that, children in non-producer households are more at risk of being stunted, wasted and underweight than those in producer households. Exploring the empirical link between the production of indigenous food crops and the nutrition status of children in northern Ghana extends the literature on nutrition and crop production.


Cet article étudie l'effet des cultures vivrières indigènes sur la sécurité nutritionnelle des enfants issus des ménages agricoles. À l'aide d'un modèle standard d'effet de traitement, nous avons analysé les données concenant les enfants de moins de cinq ans issus de 250 ménages agricoles sélectionnés dans des districts ruraux au nord du Ghana. Une procédure d'échantillonnage à plusieurs degrés a été utilisée. Les statistiques descriptives montrent chez les enfants des taux élevés d'émaciation (16,7 %), de retard de croissance (29,8 %) et d'insuffisance pondérale (25,2 %), mais elles suggèrent un meilleur état nutritionnel pour les enfants issus de ménages producteurs de cultures vivrières indigènes, par rapport aux enfants issus de ménages non producteurs. Les enfants issus de ménages producteurs ont un rapport taille-âge, poids-pour-taille et poids-pour-âge plus élevé que les enfants issus de ménages non producteurs. Les résultats suggèrent que les enfants issus de ménages non producteurs sont plus exposés au risque d'être chétifs, émaciés et en situation d'insuffisance pondérale par rapport aux enfants issus de ménages producteurs. L'exploration du lien empirique entre la production de cultures vivrières indigènes et l'état nutritionnel des enfants dans le nord du Ghana permet d’élargir la littérature sur la nutrition et la culture vivrière.

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Fig. 1

Source GSS (2009, 2015)

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Source Field Survey Data, May/June 2016

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Correspondence to Alhassan Andani.

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Andani, A., Jatoe, J.B.D. & Al-Hassan, R.M. Production of Indigenous Food Crops: Implications for Children’s Nutritional Status of Farm Households in Northern Ghana. Eur J Dev Res 34, 2651–2665 (2022).

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