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Agricultural technology adoption and child nutrition enhancement: improved maize varieties in rural Ethiopia
- Zeng, Di, Alwang, Jeffrey, Norton, George W., Shiferaw, Bekele, Jaleta, Moti, Yirga, Chilot
- Agricultural economics 2017 v.48 no.5 pp. 573-586
- Zea mays, child nutrition, children, corn, cultivars, equations, farms, food consumption, household surveys, households, income, innovation adoption, models, Ethiopia
- Adoption of improved crop varieties can lead to multiple benefits to farm households, including increased productivity, incomes, and food consumption. However, possible impacts of adoption on child nutrition outcomes are rarely explored in the literature. This article helps bridge this gap through an impact assessment of the adoption of improved maize varieties (IMVs) on child nutrition outcomes using a recent household survey from rural Ethiopia. The conceptual linkage between IMV adoption and child nutrition is first established using an agricultural household model. Instrumental variable estimation suggests the overall impacts of adoption on child height‐for‐age and weight‐for‐age z‐scores to be positive and significant. Quantile instrumental variable regressions further reveal that such impacts are largest among children with poorest nutrition outcomes. Finally, by combining a decomposition procedure with system of equations estimation, it is found that the increase in own‐produced maize consumption is the major channel through which IMV adoption affects child nutrition.