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Does urban agriculture help prevent malnutrition?


  • Maxwell, Daniel G.
  • Levin, Carol E.
  • Dsete, Joanne


Previous research has suggested that urban agriculture has a positive impact on the household food security and nutritional status of low-socioeconomic status groups in cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, but a formal test of the link between semisubsistence urban food production and nutritional status has not accompanied these claims. This paper seeks to redress this gap in the growing literature on urban agriculture through an analysis of the determinants of the nutritional status of children under five in Kampala, Uganda, where roughly one-third of all households in the sample engage in some form of urban agriculture. When controlling for other individual child, maternal, and household characteristics, these data indicate that urban agriculture has a positive, significant association with higher nutritional status of children, particularly height-for-age. Several pathways by which this relationship is manifested are suggested, and the implications of these results for urban food and nutrition policy and urban management are briefly discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Maxwell, Daniel G. & Levin, Carol E. & Dsete, Joanne, 1998. "Does urban agriculture help prevent malnutrition?," FCND discussion papers 45, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:45

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    1. repec:ilo:ilowps:241938 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Maxwell, Daniel G., 1995. "Alternative food security strategy: A household analysis of urban agriculture in Kampala," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 1669-1681, October.
    3. Sahn, David E. & Dorosh, Paul & Younger, Stephen, 1996. "Exchange rate, fiscal and agricultural policies in Africa: Does adjustment hurt the poor?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 719-747, April.
    4. Bigsten, Arne & Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Steve, 1992. "Adaptation and distress in the urban economy: A study of Kampala households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1423-1441, October.
    5. Jamal V., 1985. "Structural adjustment and food security in Uganda," ILO Working Papers 992419383402676, International Labour Organization.
    6. Engle, Patrice L. & Menon, Purnima & Haddad, Lawrence, 1999. "Care and Nutrition: Concepts and Measurement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1309-1337, August.
    7. Demery, Lionel & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Macroeconomic Adjustment and Poverty in Africa: An Emerging Picture," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 39-59, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tibesigwa, Byela & Visser, Martine, 2016. "Assessing Gender Inequality in Food Security among Small-holder Farm Households in urban and rural South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 33-49.
    2. Anríquez, Gustavo & Daidone, Silvio & Mane, Erdgin, 2013. "Rising food prices and undernourishment: A cross-country inquiry," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 190-202.
    3. Jean-Pierre Lachaud, 2002. "Urbanisation, malnutrition des enfants et genre au Burkina Faso : une approche économétrique spatiale," Documents de travail 76, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
    4. Garrett, James L. & Ruel, Marie T., 1999. "Are Determinants of Rural and Urban Food Security and Nutritional Status Different? Some Insights from Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 1955-1975, November.
    5. Garrett, James L. & Ruel, Marie T., 1999. "Are determinants of rural and urban food security and nutritional status different?," FCND discussion papers 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Warren, Emily & Hawkesworth, Sophie & Knai, Cécile, 2015. "Investigating the association between urban agriculture and food security, dietary diversity, and nutritional status: A systematic literature review," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 54-66.


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