Micronutrient Deprivation and Poverty Nutrition Trap in Rural India
We test for the existence of a Poverty Nutrition Trap (PNT) in the case of calories and four important micronutrients — carotene, iron, riboflavin, and thiamine- for three categories of wages: sowing, harvesting, and other for male and female workers separately. We use household level national data for rural India for the period January to June 1994 and robust sample selection procedures due to Heckman to arrive at consistent and efficient estimates. It is discovered that the PNT exists in ten cases. It exists for calories for female harvesting and sowing wages. In the case of carotene male workers engaged in harvesting are subject to the PNT, whereas both male and female workers engaged in harvesting are subject to PNT in the case of iron. In the case of riboflavin female workers engaged in harvesting and sowing and male workers engaged in harvesting are subject to PNT, and, in the case of thiamine, female workers engaged in harvesting and sowing are subject to PNT. Thus micronutrient deficiency is pervasive and has a significant impact on labour productivity of agricultural workers in rural India. In particular, female workers are more prone to PNT than male workers.
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