Determining the contribution of agricultural production to household nutritional status in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa

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Taylor & Francis


Anthropometric indicators were used to assess the nutritional status of rural households in the former KwaZulu homeland of South Africa (a survey was conducted of 173 households in 1993). Using these measures, households with stunted children (a total of 142 children between the ages of 0-60 months from 79 of the original survey of 173 households) were identified and the characteristics of these households examined, focusing on income sources, agricultural production and household demographics. The paper applies multivariate regressions and a logit maximum likelihood model to explore the relationship between household nutritional status (or child nutrition) and agricultural production among the sample of rural households. The paper represents a first attempt to link agricultural survey data with an assessment of household nutritional status in South Africa. The results show that agricultural activities make a significantly positive contribution to household nutrition. Consequently, designing effective programmes for improving agricultural productivity in the less-developed areas of South Africa could have a potentially positive impact on household and child nutritional status. (CabDirect)


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Health impacts, Food security, Family, Food consumption, Anthropometric indicators, Households, Child nutrition, Productivity, South africa, Farm/Enterprise Scale


Development Southern Africa 15(4): 573 - 587