Association Between Bio-fortification and Child Nutrition Among Smallholder Households in Uganda

We explored the empirical relationship between bio-fortification and child nutrition in Uganda. The research expanded the traditional approach used to address child nutrition by including in the model a categorical dependent variable for a household growing bio-fortified crop varieties. We used three waves of panel data from the Feed. The Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition, collected from 6 districts in Uganda. We performed univariate analysis and also estimated a panel logistic regression model to study the association between child stunting and production of biofortified crop varieties among smallholder farmers in Uganda. The results confirmed a very strong association between production of bio-fortified crop varieties and child stunting among children aged 0-59 months of age. The strength of the relationship, however was insensitive to the number of bio-fortified crop varieties grown by a particular household. Other important covariates of child stunting were male gender, 24-59 months age bracket, child birth weight, dietary diversity, education of caregiver, antenatal care, household size, access to improved water and household livestock score. These results can be used to vindicate current government policy of promoting production of bio-fortified crop varieties and underscore the need for intensified efforts to promote bio-fortification as a complementary means of addressing long-term child malnutrition in Uganda.

Keywords: Bio-fortification, child stunting, panel logistic regression, Uganda

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