Agroecology and household production diversity and dietary diversity: Evidence from a five-year agroecological intervention in rural Malawi.

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From: Social Science & Medicine(Vol. 288)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report
Length: 468 words

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Keywords Agroecology; Production diversity; Dietary diversity; Smallholder agriculture; Malawi Highlights * Undernutrition is of major concern in Malawi. * We examine the impact of agroecology on production diversity and dietary diversity. * Agroecology can improve production diversity and dietary diversity. * Agroecology has the potential to contribute to achieving SDG 2. Abstract Following a decade of declining food insecurity, the global undernourished population has increased successively in the last three years. This increasing trend highlights the challenge of meeting the zero hunger and nutrition targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2. Malawi is one of the most food insecure countries in Africa, with a significant proportion of its population being undernourished. Amid evidence of the counter-productive effects of input-intensive agriculture in this context, including the narrowing of the food basket and unequal access to subsidized inputs, some scholars have argued that alternative diversified agricultural approaches, combined with attention to underlying inequalities, maybe more promising in addressing undernutrition. Agroecology is one such approach which promotes biodiversity and pays attention to socio-political inequalities. That notwithstanding, there is limited research on the potential role of agroecology in improving household food outcomes. Drawing theoretical insights from political ecology and using Difference-in-Difference and mediation techniques, we examine the impact of agroecology on household production diversity and dietary diversity using data from a five-year agroecological intervention in Malawi (n = 514 agroecology-practicing farming households and 400 non-agroecology households). Findings from the Difference-in-Difference analysis show a positive treatment effect of agroecology on both production diversity ([beta] = 0.289, p Author Affiliation: (a) Department of Geography and Environment, University of Western Ontario, London, N6A 5C2, Canada (b) Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, NC 28223, USA (c) Department of Global Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, NY 14853, USA (d) Soils, Food and Healthy Communities Organization, Post Office Box 36, Ekwendeni, Malawi * Corresponding author. Article History: Revised 3 November 2020; Accepted 20 November 2020 Byline: Moses Mosonsieyiri Kansanga (a), Joseph Kangmennaang (b), Rachel Bezner Kerr (c), Esther Lupafya (d), Laifolo Dakishoni (d), Isaac Luginaah [iluginaa@uwo.ca] (a,*)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A679455834