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How Do Agro-Pastoral Policies Affect the Dietary Intake of Agro-Pastoralists? Evidence from Niger


  • Christophe Muller

    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Nouréini Sayouti

    (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UCA [2017-2020] - Université Clermont Auvergne [2017-2020] - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PASEL - Projet d’appui au secteur de l’élevage)


Agricultural policies in poor rural developing countries typically aim at improving household nutrition by raising households' agricultural profit and presumably their dietary intake as a consequence. However, it is not clear how much of the impact of these policies goes through profit in practice. If the proportion is large, this would confirm the policy orientation and direct the attention of policy makers toward the different financial incentives. Even full activity substitution may occur, which may transform households' lifestyles and access to nutrient sources and thereby affect their nutrition. If, in contrast, the policy impact does not go through profit, then the policy perspective should be adjusted, and a thorough examination and monitoring of its other channels of influence should be undertaken. Using statistical mediation analysis, we investigate the mechanisms underlying the effect of agricultural policies directed toward pastoralist households on their dietary intake in terms of these direct and indirect (through profit) effects. Based on an agro-pastoral survey conducted in Niger in 2016, the effects of extension services associated with better access to markets are found to be channeled mostly through pastoral profits, while this is not the case for private veterinary services and low-cost livestock feed programs. Extension services may foster specialization in cattle and sheep raising, which incentivizes households to switch toward a nomadic lifestyle and limits their access to cereals, a valuable source of calories. As a result, extension services are found to damage their calorie intake.

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  • Christophe Muller & Nouréini Sayouti, 2020. "How Do Agro-Pastoral Policies Affect the Dietary Intake of Agro-Pastoralists? Evidence from Niger," Working Papers halshs-02532955, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-02532955
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    1. Kafle, Kashi & Balasubramanya, Soumya, 2021. "Irrigation for Reducing Food Insecurity: The Case of Niger," 2021 Conference, August 17-31, 2021, Virtual 315099, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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    More about this item


    Agro-pastoral policies; Mediation analysis; Agricultural household models; Niger;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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