Does crop diversity at the village level influence child nutrition security? Evidence from 11 sub-Saharan African countries

Daniel Tobin, Kristal Jones, Brian C. Thiede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Diversifying crop production has been proposed as a means of reducing food and nutrition insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa, but previous empirical studies yield mixed results. Much of this evidence has focused at the household level, but there are plausible reasons to expect that the presence of crop diversity at other scales affects human health. Utilizing data from 11 sub-Saharan African countries housed in the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)-Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) system, this study assesses the association between village-level crop diversity and both dietary diversity and height-for-age among young children. Our findings indicate that, overall, village-level crop diversity contributes to higher dietary diversity and improved height-for-age and that functional diversity measures best account for nutritional outcomes. These findings provide an important basis for future research to explore the importance of crop diversity at scales beyond the household and to consider other contextual determinants of child health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-97
Number of pages24
JournalPopulation and Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

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