Bonuedi, Isaac: The roles of nutrition-sensitive interventions and market access in enhancing household food security and resilience in Sierra Leone. - Bonn, 2021. - Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
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author = {{Isaac Bonuedi}},
title = {The roles of nutrition-sensitive interventions and market access in enhancing household food security and resilience in Sierra Leone},
school = {Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn},
year = 2021,
month = may,

note = {Using Sierra Leone – a post-conflict country in West Africa – as a case study, this dissertation addresses pressing issues on how to make smallholder agriculture more nutrition-sensitive, mitigate the adverse effects of seasonality on food security, and strengthen rural households’ resilience against shocks and stressors. The study utilizes self-collected panel data from 836 smallholder cocoa, coffee and cashew farming households in Eastern and Northern Sierra Leone between 2017 and 2019. The primary data is complemented with secondary data from the Sierra Leone Integrated Household Survey.
The first study exploits the quasi-experimental design to study the impacts and related pathways of an integrated agriculture-nutrition intervention. A focus is on the dietary outcomes of the interventions for cash cropping. Using a doubly robust estimator, the study finds that combining support for cash crop production and nutrition training led to a significant increase in household, maternal, and child dietary diversity and consumption of nutritious foodstuffs. The nutrition intervention alone is found to increase maternal intake of micronutrient-dense food groups significantly. However, the results indicate that solely supporting the production of the cash crops may significantly inhibit both household and individual dietary diversity. Improving caregiver’s nutrition knowledge and confidence in influencing food-related decisions are found to be the key pathways linking the combined intervention to better dietary outcomes.
Utilizing data from two waves of the national household survey, the second study finds that agricultural seasonality imposes significant fluctuations on household dietary diversity and food security in Sierra Leone. The results show that rural households are most vulnerable to food insecurity during the lean season, during which they are compelled to frequently limit portion size at meal times and skip meals. Most importantly, the study finds that households residing closer to food markets consume more diverse diets and are more food secure in both lean and non-lean seasons than remoter households.
The final study employs the panel data on smallholder cash cropping households to examine the drivers of resilience capacity and its effects on food security in the face of shocks. Relative to non-participating households, the interventions are found to significantly increase the resilience capacity of the beneficiaries, by enhancing their adaptive capacity and ownership of productive assets. The empirical analysis also shows that more resilient households have superior future food security outcomes and are better positioned to effectively deal with shocks.
Based on these results, the thesis concludes that incorporating a nutrition component into cash crop interventions promises to deliver larger nutritional benefits than implementing them in isolation. Additionally, development strategies aimed at strengthening market access, adaptive capacity, and access to productive assets will not only alleviate seasonal hunger but also enhance the resilience of rural households against shocks and preserve their food security and overall wellbeing.},

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