Agriculture-Nutrition Pathway in India


Our analysis illustrates one pathway between agriculture and nutrition through production of nutrients by crop and size as well as through livestock. As this pathway is subsumed in agriculture and nutrition studies focusing on anthropometric outcomes, and hardly any light is thrown on the contribution of smallholders, it is emphasised that they play an important role as producers of nutrients. Specifically, despite various disadvantages (e.g. inadequate access to extension, technology, credit and markets), they contribute largest shares of calories, protein and fats. However, profits earned (using an approximate measure) are considerably lower among them than among medium and large landholders. At least two reasons are identified in our analysis: one is limited access to markets and another is lower crop prices. A much greater emphasis on enabling higher investment, access to technology and markets through better rural infrastructure would help increase profitability of crop production. Equally important are market imperfections that manifest in lower crop prices for smallholders. How economies of scale could be exploited through farmers' groups needs careful scrutiny.


agriculture, food crops, livestock, smallholders, calorie, protein and fat

JEL Classification

I15, Q18,N35


Raghav GAIHA
Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT, Cambridge, MA

School of Business Public Policy and Social Entrepreneurship, Ambedkar University, Delhi

Katsushi S. IMAI
School of Social Sciences, the University of Manchester
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: +81-78-803-7036
FAX: +81-78-803-7059

Ganesh THAPA
International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome