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Agricultural productivity, seasonality and gender bias in rural nutrition: Empirical evidence from South India

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  • Babu, Suresh Chandra
  • Thirumaran, Susheela
  • Mohanam, T. C.

Abstract

This paper analyzes changes in the nutrients intake, intra-household allocation and gender bias due to changes in agricultural productivity among four groups of rural households over six different seasons. The study utilizes household survey data collected from a village in Tamil Nadu, India. While the results are consistent with earlier findings that seasonality influences variation in the intake of nutrients, it is shown that subsistence agricultural households recover faster from poor crop yields than market oriented agricultural households in terms of nutrient intake. Agricultural labour households consumed lowest quantities of energy and protein in all seasons with the highest degree of gender bias. The gender bias is more in terms of protein intake compared to energy intake for all the households. The non-agricultural households are least affected due to variability in crop yields and seasonality. While nutritional intake of the rural households is positively correlated with crop yields, the variations in yields worsen the gender bias. It is argued that reducing dependency of rural households on agriculture may reduce malnutrition and the gender bias associated with it.

Suggested Citation

  • Babu, Suresh Chandra & Thirumaran, Susheela & Mohanam, T. C., 1993. "Agricultural productivity, seasonality and gender bias in rural nutrition: Empirical evidence from South India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 1313-1319, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:37:y:1993:i:11:p:1313-1319
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    Cited by:

    1. Gillespie, Stuart & Harris, Jody & Kadiyala, Suneetha, 2012. "The Agriculture-Nutrition Disconnect in India: What Do We Know?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1187, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Mousumi Das, 2014. "Measures, spatial profile and determinants of dietary diversity: Evidence from India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-045, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    3. Rae Lesser Blumberg & Kara Dewhurst & Soham G. Sen, 2013. "Gender-inclusive Nutrition Activities in South Asia : Volume 2. Lessons from Global Experiences," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15980, The World Bank.
    4. Sonia Bhalotra & Abhishek Chakravarty & Dilip Mookherjee & Francisco J. Pino, "undated". "Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-281, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    5. Headey, Derek & Chiu, Alice & Kadiyala, Suneetha, 2011. "Agriculture's role in the Indian enigma: Help or hindrance to the undernutrition crisis?," IFPRI discussion papers 1085, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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