Agriculture and Nutrition Linkages
Ghana has performed very well in meeting both targets of MDG one for reducing poverty and hunger, when the hunger reduction is measured by the prevalence of underweight children under five years of age. However, improvements in chronic malnutrition indicators such as the prevalence of stunting children under five years of age and other important health measures such as anemia incidence among children in the same age group and women aged 15 to 49 years are rather disappointing in Ghana. Stunting is strongly related to poor functional outcomes such as impaired intellectual development during childhood, and to short stature in adulthood, while anemia harms the physical and mental development of children and reduces women’s work productivity. In Ghana, prevalence of stunting has only been modestly reduced in the recent years, while incidences of anemia among both children and women are among the worst situation in the world. Even more disturbing is the fact that the incidence of anemia has actually increased since 2003.
Focusing on the link between agriculture and nutrition, this analysis will look into the nutritional outcomes of households by location and income level and compare these with poverty distribution patterns using three long-term malnutrition indicators: children stunting rates, and children’s and women’s anemia rates. The second phase of analysis will examine the relationship between agricultural production, consumption patterns, and other social factors and nutrition outcomes. This study uses data from the most recent Ghana Living Standards Survey from 2005/06 (GLSS5) and the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) from 2008 to examine these issues throughout Ghana.
To identify which are the most relevant factors to explain Ghana’s nutrition situation, this study will employ a “polling” method to the DHS data. Polling is a tool often used for conditional frequency estimation and maximum likelihood prediction for explanatory variables. The polling method will help determine the common features of stunted and anemic population across geographical regions, income levels, and consumption patterns. The main determinants associated with nutrition identified through polling can help identify the most effective targeted interventions. It also helps to identify the most vulnerable households and their locations and characteristics such that some regional policies can be implemented.
- Internal Migration and Rural Service Provision in Northern Ghana (June 2010)
- A New Era of Transformation in Ghana: Lessons from the Past and Scenarios for the Future (March 2011)
- Economic Transformation in Ghana (Draft of paper presented at the IFPRI‐University of Ghana Conference,“Understanding Economic Transformation in Sub‐Saharan Africa” held in Accra, Ghana May 10‐11, 2011)