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.
Read the full article in Population and Environment.