ADDA: Agriculture and Dietary Diversity in Africa

In developing countries, undernutrition and micronutrient malnutrition are still the leading risk factors for infectious diseases, premature deaths, and impaired physical and cognitive development. Women and children are the most affected population groups. Especially in Africa, the majority of the malnourished people live in rural areas, mostly in smallholder farm households. Hence, the agricultural sector is one of the key entry points to improve nutrition and health. Although the relationship between agriculture and nutrition has long been recognized, the linkages are not yet fully understood and require more research.

The aim of this project is to improve the knowledge on agriculture-nutrition linkages in the African small farm sector and develop approaches how the uptake of pro-nutrition innovations can be promoted. Representative household data from four African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda) are analyzed to better understand the relationship between agricultural production diversity and nutritional quality under different conditions. In addition, new models of nutrition-sensitive and gender-equitable community outreach are developed, tested, and compared through randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and rigorous impact assessment in Kenya.


Possible topics for doctoral research:


  • The relationship between agricultural production diversity and nutritional quality in smallholder farm households in Africa
  • Developing and testing new models of community outreach for pro-nutrition innovations
  • Impacts of agricultural innovations on dietary quality and nutrition in smallholder farm households



Doctoral researcher involved:
Andrea Fongar
Lisa Jäckering
Sylvester Ogutu

Principal investigators/supervisors:
Matin Qaim, Meike Wollni, Theda Gödecke

Project funded by:
German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Germany

Project duration:
01/2015-12/2017

Partner organizations in Africa:
Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International (Africa Harvest); Nairobi, Kenya
University of Nairobi, Department of Agricultural Economics; Nairobi, Kenya