In the new PLOS One article, “The role of agriculture in women’s nutrition: Empirical evidence from India,” authors Dr. Tanvi Rao (Cornell Dyson PhD ’17 & Tata-Cornell Scholar) and Dr. Prabhu Pingali (TCI Founding Director) provide empirical evidence that explicitly links agricultural output and incomes to rural women’s nutrition outcomes in India.
The pathway from agriculture to nutrition works through the increased consumption of own-produced staples cereals as well as increased market purchases of nutritious foods such as pulses. The authors also find that the agricultural productivity and nutrition linkage is particularly strong for younger women, in the age group of 15-25 years – a group which faces particularly strong nutritional disadvantages in India.
This paper uses the five year household panel data collected as part of ICRISAT’s VDSA project that was funded by BMGF. This data set is unique in providing detailed household and individual data on agriculture as well as nutritional status over time. There are no comparable panel data sets that would have allowed us to examine the agriculture to nutrition pathways in India.