Nutrition education, farm production diversity, and commercialization on household and individual dietary diversity in Zimbabwe
Background: Nutrition education is crucial for improved nutrition outcomes. However, there are no studies to the best of our knowledge that have jointly analysed the roles of nutrition education, farm production diversity and commercialization on household, women and child dietary diversity.
Objective: This article jointly analyses the role of nutrition education, farm production diversity and commercialization on household, women and children dietary diversity in Zimbabwe. In addition, we analyze separately the roles of crop and livestock diversity and individual agricultural practices on dietary diversity.
Design: Data were collected from 2,815 households randomly selected in eight districts. Negative binomial regression was used for model estimations.
Results: Nutrition education increased household, women, and child dietary diversity by 3, 9 and 24%, respectively. Farm production diversity had a strong and positive association with household and women dietary diversity. Crop diversification led to a 4 and 5% increase in household and women dietary diversity, respectively. Furthermore, livestock diversification and market participation were positively associated with household, women, and children dietary diversity. The cultivation of pulses and fruits increased household, women, and children dietary diversity. Vegetable production and goat rearing increased household and women dietary diversity.
Conclusion: Nutrition education and improving access to markets are promising strategies to improve dietary diversity at both household and individual level. Results demonstrate the value of promoting nutrition education; farm production diversity; small livestock; pulses, vegetables and fruits; crop-livestock integration; and market access for improved nutrition.
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