Can agricultural interventions improve child health?

Research report

May 2015


Externally reviewed

Evidence from Tanzania

Study Paper No. 68


Written by: Anna Folke Larsen and Helene Bie Lilleør


Severely reduced height-for-age due to undernutrition is widespread in young African children, with serious implications for their health and later economic productivity. It is primarily caused by growth faltering due to hunger spells in critical periods of early child development. We assess the impact on child health, measured as height-for-age, of an Agricultural intervention that improved food security among smallholder farmers by providing these with a basket of new technology options. We find that height-for-age measures among children from participating households increased by about 0.8 standard deviation and the incidence of stunting among them reduced by about 17 percentage points.

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