Does Nutrition Really Matter for the Productivity of Smallholder Farmers?

Azra, Tilai and Rayenda Khresna, Brahmana and Hui, Wei You (2021) Does Nutrition Really Matter for the Productivity of Smallholder Farmers? Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 29 (2). pp. 1125-1150. ISSN 0128-7702

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Household-level data from Malaysia Smallholder paddy farmers are used to test whether higher caloric intake enhances family farm labour productivity. This study contests the notion behind the efficiency wages hypothesis. Farmers’ productivity is estimated using Data Envelopment Analysis. To avoid estimation bias from reverse causality, we utilize a two-stage least square approach by choosing prices, household demography, and farm assets as instrumental variables. The results show that high caloric intake significantly affects farmers’ productivity in a non-linear relationship. Farmers with obesity and overweight conditions produce less per unit of inputs and supply more labour than farmers with normal BMI and normal weight. The model results show that production inefficiency increases significantly with the high consumption calories, high BMI, and obesity of farmers providing solid support for the nutrition productivity hypothesis. The marginal effect on productivity falls drastically as caloric intake increases. These outcomes recommend that investing in the health sector in rural areas will improve farmer productivity. Policymakers should develop approaches that will maximize agricultural investments’ contribution to agricultural productivity and the overall rural economy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agricultural, farmers, health status, nutrition, productivity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Economics and Business
Faculties, Institutes, Centres > Faculty of Economics and Business
Depositing User: AZRA TILAI
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2022 04:20
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2022 04:20

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