The Nexus between Agriculture and Nutrition: Do Growth Patterns and Conditional Factors Matter?

  • Date Posted: July 7, 2011
  • Authors: Shenggen Fan, Joanna Brzeska
  • Organizations/Projects: International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Document Types: Evidence or Research, Primer or Brief
  • Donor Type: Non-Governmental Organization

This short brief examines the international evidence on the influence of economic growth on nutritional status. It finds conflicting evidence on the relationship between the two. The role of growth of agricultural subsectors in nutritional status varies depending upon several factors: the sector's linkages with the rest of the economy, its initial size and geographic concentration, its growth potential, and market opportunities. A number of conditional factors also play a strong role, including land distribution patterns, women's status, rural infrastructure and the health status of the population. The brief concludes by suggesting a couple of strategies and policies that respond to the findings.