What do we want to know?
What is the impact of agricultural interventions on the nutritional status of children?
Who wants to know and why?
The results of this systematic review will benefit governments and NGOs wishing to develop and deliver effective interventions.
What did we find?
Agricultural interventions increase the production and consumption of nutritious food among poor households, but we found no evidence of a significant impact on prevalence rates of malnutrition among children under five.
What are the implications?
There is a need for more rigorous evaluation of the impact of agricultural interventions on the nutritional status of children. Opportunities for improvement include: use of a control group, randomisation and long term follow-up; analysing the characteristics and circumstances of those who do or do not participate; studies sufficiently large for detecting statistically significant differences; measures such as total household income, children’s height and weight; and the application of appropriate statistical tests.
How did we get these results?
Systematic review procedures and techniques were used to generate the results. The systematic review used 23 studies spanning biofortification interventions; home gardens; aquaculture and small fisheries; dairy development; and animal source food promotion.
The EPPI-Centre reference number for this report is 1904.
This report should be cited as: Masset E, Haddad L, Cornelius A, Isaza-Castro J (2011) A systematic review of agricultural interventions that aim to improve nutritional status of children. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. ISBN: 978-1-907345-09-8