Nutritional deficiency and women’s empowerment in agriculture: Evidence from Nigeria

Taiwo A Aderemi

This study investigates the relationship between women’s empowerment in agriculture, their nutritional status and those of their children. Growing empirical evidence suggests that there is a positive link, but that not all empowerment dimensions influence nutritional outcomes. Using longitudinal data from the Nigeria Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA), covering the period from 2010 to 2016, specific evidence on this topic is provided. Our findings show no relationship between women’s empowerment as measured by women who own agricultural land and have access to credit, and their caloric energy intake. Nevertheless, if women jointly own land and other agricultural inputs with their spouse, it has a positive influence on their caloric energy intake. The children’s anthropometric scores responded positively to women’s empowerment indicators, although with differential effects for boys and girls. Women’s access to agricultural inputs and land rights are necessary conditions for maximising the potential benefits derived from the women-empowerment-nutrition link. Improvements in the anthropometric scores of girl children of empowered women should be considered a priority for intervention programmes.