PurposeEmphasis on the potential roles diverse farm production systems could play in enhancing food consumption variety and nutritional well-being in rural developing countries has increased in recent times. However, there are paucities of empirical works connecting diversity in agricultural production and dietary diversity in Africa, and Nigeria in particular. The purpose of this paper is to, therefore, examine, among others, the causal link between farm production diversity and consumption of varied diets among farm households in Nigeria using a nationally representative panel data.Design/methodology/approachUnlike the simple food count measure, the authors adopt two-dimensional indices to assess food diversity, and estimated both fixed and random effects versions of panel data econometrics models with the two-dimensional indices as regressands.FindingsResults show that food production system is less diverse with an average farm household consuming fairly varied foods across seasons. All the econometrics models estimated consistently established positive and statistically significant influence of farm production diversity on household dietary diversity. Higher food prices, especially rice and roots and tubers could substantially reduce dietary diversity with the negative effects likely to be more devastating for low-income farm households. The specificity of household being a net food seller had positive, although weak influence on dietary diversity.Originality/valueThe findings accentuate, among others, the need for strategies to promote farm production diversity, transform farm households to net-sellers of foods and enable them take advantage of food price signals to boost farm incomes as important pathway for diet quality improvement and reduction of food insecurity, malnutrition and related diseases in rural Nigeria
International Journal of Social Economics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 4, 2017
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