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Kevin Z. Chen
Senior Research Fellow and Head of East and Central Asia Office (ECAO)
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Chair Professor, School of Public Affairs, Zhejiang University
Evolving Agri-food Systems in Asia: Achieving Food and Nutrition Security
by 2030, October 30 - November 1, 2019, Yangon, Myanmar
Farm Production, Market Access, and
Dietary Diversity in the Poor Rural China
To improve nutrition, stronger emphasis needs to be
put on promoting dietary quality and diversity
▪ Hunger and malnutrition remain a global burden.
▪ Malnutrition is not only caused by insufficient calorie intake but
also by inadequate intake of various nutrients due to low dietary
quality and diversity.
▪ To improve nutritional status, it is vital to strategize using
promotion of dietary diversity.
A positive relationship between production
diversity and dietary diversity is plausible
▪ The majority of the malnutritional people live in rural areas.
▪ Much of what smallholders' produce is consumed at home.
▪ A positive relationship between production and dietary diversity
is plausible.
Increasing production diversity is often considered as a
useful way to improve dietary diversity
Literature Review
▪ Previous studies identified a positive association between production and dietary diversity
in developing countries.
▪ For subsistence and semi-subsistence farmers, production diversity is considered as the
most important way to improve dietary diversity (Remans et al., 2015; Cook, 2018).
▪ However, a number of recent studies indicated that subsistence production could not
wholly explain the relationship between production diversity and dietary diversity. Market
access measures were found to be more important for dietary diversity than diverse
production (Sibhatu et al., 2015; Koppmair et al., 2015; Hirvonen and Hoddinott, 2017;
Jones, 2017; Sibhatu and Qaim, 2018).
▪ Little empirical studies on association between production dietary and dietary diversity in
China.
Objectives
▪Is there a link between production and dietary
diversity in poor rural China?
▪What are other factors such as market access
that influences the link and dietary diversity?
Data
▪ Rural China Poverty and Food Security Household Survey by CAAS
▪ The seven counties, including Luonan and Zhenan in Shaanxi, Qingshui
in Gansu, Huize and Wuding in Yunnan, and Zhengan and Panzhou in
Guizhou were selected from the poorest group of 572 National Poor
Counties.
 A two-stage clustering approach was applied.
− The selection of 19 villages in each county using the probability-proportional-to-size
(PPS) method, except 16 villages in Qingshui county.
− 12 households in each village were randomly selected
− Four-wave panel data from the year 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2018
 The total dataset includes 1,560 households from 130 villages in 2018,
of which we use 1,495 observations after excluding nonfarm households
and those with missing data.
Survey Location
Measurement of dietary diversity, market access and
production diversity
▪ Dietary diversity
− The count of food groups
− The number of food groups: 12 food groups
− Recall period: 24 hours
▪ Production diversity
− The count of food groups produced on a farm
− The number of food groups: 12 food groups
− Recall period: the last 12 months
 Market access
- The distance to the nearest market
- Cash agricultural income generated from commercial
agricultural sales
- Off-farm income
12 food groups (FAO, 2007)
• Cereals
• White tubers and roots
• Legumes, nuts and seeds
• Vegetables
• Fruits
• Meat
• Eggs
• Fish and fish products
• Milk and milk products
• sweets and sugar
• oil and fats
• spices, condiments and beverages
Model Specification and Estimation - Poisson Regression
0 1 2 3 4
5
i i i i i
i i
HDDS PDS Marketdis ln Agricashincome lnOfffarmincome
X u
α α α α α
α
=+ + + +
+ +
• HDDS denotes the household-level dietary diversity;
• PDS denotes the production diversity;
• lnAgricashincome denotes the log of cash agricultural income from sales
of food agricultural goods;
• lnofffarmincome denotes the log of income earning from off-farm activities;
• Marketdis denotes household distance from the nearest market; and
• X denotes household characteristics such as household size, gender, age,
education and land size.
Descriptive Statistics on Key Variables
Overall Shaanxi Gansu Yunnan Guizhou
Dietary diversity 6.505
(1.643)
6.474
(1.765)
6.115
(1.582)
6.779
(1.610)
6.427
(1.519)
Production diversity 4.062
(1.578)
4.081
(1.522)
3.901
(1.688)
4.498
(1.512)
3.649
(1.536)
Market distance 6.825
(7.051)
6.582
(6.970)
10.020
(8.713)
7.033
(6.698)
5.381
(6.118)
Annual agricultural cash
income (yuan)
3,835.013
(9,016.792)
1,748.79
(4,147.779)
3,967.517
(9,743.759)
6,346.385
(11,158.85)
3,388.266
(9,399.225)
Annual off-farm income (yuan) 24,709.390
(52,976.860)
21,924.110
(36,892.250)
20,190.140
(25,447.640)
19,879.940
(55,738.200)
35,081.730
(70,411.550)
▪ Vary significantly across regions
▪ The lowest production diversity is observed in Guizhou. However, the dietary
diversity in Guizhou not lowest.
The association between production diversity
and dietary diversity is positive and significant
Explanation variables
Production diversity 0.018*** (0.004)
Distance to the market (km) -0.003*** (0.001)
Agricultural cash income (yuan) -0.001(0.002)
Off-farm income (yuan) 0.010*** (0.002)
Association between production diversity and dietary diversity
▪ Producing one additional food group leads to 1.8% increase in
the number of food groups consumed.
Notes: A coefficient estimate states by what percentage the dietary diversity score
changes when the independent variable changes by one unit.
Explanation variables
Production diversity 0.018*** (0.004)
Distance to the market (km) -0.003*** (0.001)
Agricultural cash income (yuan) -0.001(0.002)
Off-farm income (yuan) 0.010*** (0.002)
Table 2 Association between production diversity and dietary diversity
Notes: A coefficient estimate states by what percentage the dietary diversity score
changes when the independent variable changes by one unit.
▪ The further distance to the market, the lower dietary diversity.
▪ Reducing market distance by 6 km has the same effect on dietary diversity
as increasing farm production diversity by one additional food group.
Market distance has a negative association with the
dietary diversity
Explanation variables
Production diversity 0.018*** (0.004)
Distance to the market (km) -0.003*** (0.001)
Agricultural cash income (yuan) -0.001(0.002)
Off-farm income (yuan) 0.010*** (0.002)
Table 2 Association between production diversity and dietary diversity
▪ The higher off-farm income, the higher dietary diversity
▪ Increasing off-farm income by 3,565.8 yuan has the same effect on dietary diversity
as increasing farm production diversity by one additional food group.
Off-farm income has a positive association with
dietary diversity
Notes: A coefficient estimate states by what percentage the dietary diversity score
changes when the independent variable changes by one unit.
Conclusions
 The results from data in poor rural China revealed that the
production diversity has a positive and significant effect on the
diversity of household diet.
 Better market access through reducing distances could
contribute to higher dietary diversity.
 Better market access through increasing off-farm income could
contribute to higher dietary diversity.
 Better market access through increasing commercial agricultural
sales could not contribute to higher dietary diversity.
 Improving market access could be rather promising to improve
dietary diversity in the poor smallholder families.
References
 Shu Wu, Jiaqi Huang, Jieying Bi, Fengying Nie, Kevin Chen, Chenfang
Liu, Shaoping LI. 2019. Production diversity and dietary diversity in poor
rural China: linkage and pathway. CAER-IFPRI 2019 Annual
International Conference on Quality-driven Development in China’s
Food System: Challenges and Options, Hangzhou, China.
 Cook, S. 2018. The spice of life: The fundamental role of diversity on
the farm and on the plate. Discussion Paper. IIED and Hivos, London
and The Hague.
 Kibrom T. Sibhatu, Vijesh V. Krishna, and Matin Qaim. 2015. Production
diversity and dietary diversity in smallholder farm households. PNAS.
 Remans, R., F.A.J. DeClerck., G. Kennedy, and J. Fanzo. 2015.
Expanding the view on the production and dietary diversity link: scale,
function, and change over time. PNAS.

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Farm Production, Market Access and Dietary Diversity in China’s Poor Rural Households: Evidence from a Panel Data

  • 1. Kevin Z. Chen Senior Research Fellow and Head of East and Central Asia Office (ECAO) International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Chair Professor, School of Public Affairs, Zhejiang University Evolving Agri-food Systems in Asia: Achieving Food and Nutrition Security by 2030, October 30 - November 1, 2019, Yangon, Myanmar Farm Production, Market Access, and Dietary Diversity in the Poor Rural China
  • 2. To improve nutrition, stronger emphasis needs to be put on promoting dietary quality and diversity ▪ Hunger and malnutrition remain a global burden. ▪ Malnutrition is not only caused by insufficient calorie intake but also by inadequate intake of various nutrients due to low dietary quality and diversity. ▪ To improve nutritional status, it is vital to strategize using promotion of dietary diversity.
  • 3. A positive relationship between production diversity and dietary diversity is plausible ▪ The majority of the malnutritional people live in rural areas. ▪ Much of what smallholders' produce is consumed at home. ▪ A positive relationship between production and dietary diversity is plausible. Increasing production diversity is often considered as a useful way to improve dietary diversity
  • 4. Literature Review ▪ Previous studies identified a positive association between production and dietary diversity in developing countries. ▪ For subsistence and semi-subsistence farmers, production diversity is considered as the most important way to improve dietary diversity (Remans et al., 2015; Cook, 2018). ▪ However, a number of recent studies indicated that subsistence production could not wholly explain the relationship between production diversity and dietary diversity. Market access measures were found to be more important for dietary diversity than diverse production (Sibhatu et al., 2015; Koppmair et al., 2015; Hirvonen and Hoddinott, 2017; Jones, 2017; Sibhatu and Qaim, 2018). ▪ Little empirical studies on association between production dietary and dietary diversity in China.
  • 5. Objectives ▪Is there a link between production and dietary diversity in poor rural China? ▪What are other factors such as market access that influences the link and dietary diversity?
  • 6. Data ▪ Rural China Poverty and Food Security Household Survey by CAAS ▪ The seven counties, including Luonan and Zhenan in Shaanxi, Qingshui in Gansu, Huize and Wuding in Yunnan, and Zhengan and Panzhou in Guizhou were selected from the poorest group of 572 National Poor Counties.  A two-stage clustering approach was applied. − The selection of 19 villages in each county using the probability-proportional-to-size (PPS) method, except 16 villages in Qingshui county. − 12 households in each village were randomly selected − Four-wave panel data from the year 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2018  The total dataset includes 1,560 households from 130 villages in 2018, of which we use 1,495 observations after excluding nonfarm households and those with missing data.
  • 8. Measurement of dietary diversity, market access and production diversity ▪ Dietary diversity − The count of food groups − The number of food groups: 12 food groups − Recall period: 24 hours ▪ Production diversity − The count of food groups produced on a farm − The number of food groups: 12 food groups − Recall period: the last 12 months  Market access - The distance to the nearest market - Cash agricultural income generated from commercial agricultural sales - Off-farm income 12 food groups (FAO, 2007) • Cereals • White tubers and roots • Legumes, nuts and seeds • Vegetables • Fruits • Meat • Eggs • Fish and fish products • Milk and milk products • sweets and sugar • oil and fats • spices, condiments and beverages
  • 9. Model Specification and Estimation - Poisson Regression 0 1 2 3 4 5 i i i i i i i HDDS PDS Marketdis ln Agricashincome lnOfffarmincome X u α α α α α α =+ + + + + + • HDDS denotes the household-level dietary diversity; • PDS denotes the production diversity; • lnAgricashincome denotes the log of cash agricultural income from sales of food agricultural goods; • lnofffarmincome denotes the log of income earning from off-farm activities; • Marketdis denotes household distance from the nearest market; and • X denotes household characteristics such as household size, gender, age, education and land size.
  • 10. Descriptive Statistics on Key Variables Overall Shaanxi Gansu Yunnan Guizhou Dietary diversity 6.505 (1.643) 6.474 (1.765) 6.115 (1.582) 6.779 (1.610) 6.427 (1.519) Production diversity 4.062 (1.578) 4.081 (1.522) 3.901 (1.688) 4.498 (1.512) 3.649 (1.536) Market distance 6.825 (7.051) 6.582 (6.970) 10.020 (8.713) 7.033 (6.698) 5.381 (6.118) Annual agricultural cash income (yuan) 3,835.013 (9,016.792) 1,748.79 (4,147.779) 3,967.517 (9,743.759) 6,346.385 (11,158.85) 3,388.266 (9,399.225) Annual off-farm income (yuan) 24,709.390 (52,976.860) 21,924.110 (36,892.250) 20,190.140 (25,447.640) 19,879.940 (55,738.200) 35,081.730 (70,411.550) ▪ Vary significantly across regions ▪ The lowest production diversity is observed in Guizhou. However, the dietary diversity in Guizhou not lowest.
  • 11. The association between production diversity and dietary diversity is positive and significant Explanation variables Production diversity 0.018*** (0.004) Distance to the market (km) -0.003*** (0.001) Agricultural cash income (yuan) -0.001(0.002) Off-farm income (yuan) 0.010*** (0.002) Association between production diversity and dietary diversity ▪ Producing one additional food group leads to 1.8% increase in the number of food groups consumed. Notes: A coefficient estimate states by what percentage the dietary diversity score changes when the independent variable changes by one unit.
  • 12. Explanation variables Production diversity 0.018*** (0.004) Distance to the market (km) -0.003*** (0.001) Agricultural cash income (yuan) -0.001(0.002) Off-farm income (yuan) 0.010*** (0.002) Table 2 Association between production diversity and dietary diversity Notes: A coefficient estimate states by what percentage the dietary diversity score changes when the independent variable changes by one unit. ▪ The further distance to the market, the lower dietary diversity. ▪ Reducing market distance by 6 km has the same effect on dietary diversity as increasing farm production diversity by one additional food group. Market distance has a negative association with the dietary diversity
  • 13. Explanation variables Production diversity 0.018*** (0.004) Distance to the market (km) -0.003*** (0.001) Agricultural cash income (yuan) -0.001(0.002) Off-farm income (yuan) 0.010*** (0.002) Table 2 Association between production diversity and dietary diversity ▪ The higher off-farm income, the higher dietary diversity ▪ Increasing off-farm income by 3,565.8 yuan has the same effect on dietary diversity as increasing farm production diversity by one additional food group. Off-farm income has a positive association with dietary diversity Notes: A coefficient estimate states by what percentage the dietary diversity score changes when the independent variable changes by one unit.
  • 14. Conclusions  The results from data in poor rural China revealed that the production diversity has a positive and significant effect on the diversity of household diet.  Better market access through reducing distances could contribute to higher dietary diversity.  Better market access through increasing off-farm income could contribute to higher dietary diversity.  Better market access through increasing commercial agricultural sales could not contribute to higher dietary diversity.  Improving market access could be rather promising to improve dietary diversity in the poor smallholder families.
  • 15. References  Shu Wu, Jiaqi Huang, Jieying Bi, Fengying Nie, Kevin Chen, Chenfang Liu, Shaoping LI. 2019. Production diversity and dietary diversity in poor rural China: linkage and pathway. CAER-IFPRI 2019 Annual International Conference on Quality-driven Development in China’s Food System: Challenges and Options, Hangzhou, China.  Cook, S. 2018. The spice of life: The fundamental role of diversity on the farm and on the plate. Discussion Paper. IIED and Hivos, London and The Hague.  Kibrom T. Sibhatu, Vijesh V. Krishna, and Matin Qaim. 2015. Production diversity and dietary diversity in smallholder farm households. PNAS.  Remans, R., F.A.J. DeClerck., G. Kennedy, and J. Fanzo. 2015. Expanding the view on the production and dietary diversity link: scale, function, and change over time. PNAS.