Does Women’s Time on the Farm Affect Children’s Nutritional Status? Evidence from Tanzania

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Machio, Phyllis Mumia
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African Economic Research Consortium
The time allocation between reproductive and productive work in agriculture has implications for nutrition (Stevano et al., 2019). Spending many hours on the farm reduces the time available for engaging in domestic nutrition-improving chores. This study seeks to examine the effect of hours women worked on farms on the nutritional status (height for age and weight for age) of children. The study uses three waves of the Tanzania National Panel survey data. We estimate a random effects instrumental variable estimation technique. The results show that women who work long hours on the farm increases the likelihood of children being stunted and underweight. The study recommends policies that can help reduce hours worked by women on farms. Women can be encouraged to form work groups that they can use for their agricultural activities. The local government can also invest in farm machinery that women can hire at subsidized prices.