Effects of Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture on Welfare Outcomes of Rural Women: The Case of Basona Worena and Angolela Tera Woredas of North Shoa Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Food insecurity and malnutrition are priority development challenges of Ethiopia. To counter the problem, the country embraced the nutrition sensitive agriculture approach and taken decisive measures relevant for wide implementation of the practice. Nutrition sensitive agriculture interventions that are implemented in worst affected parts of the country are already producing number of encouraging results. This study assessed the extent to which the desired welfare outcomes are realized in the intervention beneficiary Basona Worena Woreda as compared to the Agolela Tera Woreda that did not benefit from such intervention. Administratively, these woredas are situated in North Shoa Zone of Amhara Region. Purposive and simple random sampling procedures were used to select these two Woredas, and the 262 representative households respectively. The study employed key informants’ interview checklists and structured questionnaires to gather relevant data, which was then analyzed using descriptive statistics and an econometric propensity score matching model. The study findings demonstrated that the intervention has a significant and positive influence on assessed welfare outcomes namely women empowerment, on-farm production and consumption of nutritious diets, household income, and nutrition knowledge. Of the examined women empowerment domains, appreciable improvement was made in leadership and access to resources. Regarding the outcome on production and consumption diversity, mothers’ and children’s consumption was seriously constrained by sociocultural and religious factors. Despite these challenges, intervention beneficiary women and their children have had higher minimum dietary diversity than non-beneficiary women and their children. The home production of nutrient dense food sources positively affected the consumption of these items although extremely poor families opted to sale part or the entire farm produce in order to generate the badly needed cash. To countervail this challenge, future nutrition sensitive agriculture intervention programs should consider livelihood and income diversification opportunities as part of the scheme so as to allow the poor households use the home produced nutrient dense foods for intended purpose. In addition, the sustained and wider dissemination of the nutrition sensitive agriculture approach would require building the capacity of key actors and institutionalizing the scheme in the regular publicly supported extension programs.



Agriculture, Nutrition, Rural Women