The field research under the AgriDiet project was completed in September 2015. The analysis is ongoing and the research findings will continue to be added to this site.

The AgriDiet site will also continue to provide updates on the latest research findings relating to agriculture and nutrition in Ethiopia and Tanzania via ELDIS

  • Welcome to AgriDiet


    AgriDiet is a a research partnership between eight universities and research centres in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Ethiopia and Tanzania, led by University College Cork.

    The aim is to understand how agriculture impacts on the nutritional status of rural households and to identify policies, practices and interventions that can make a positive impact on nutritional status.

    On this website you will find information about the 9 work package components of the project, plus regular updates from the project team in our news section and the latest outputs in our project reports section. You can also register to receive the project’s quarterly newsletter and browse our resource centre of relevant research on agriculture and nutrition.

    We are currently in the early stages of the 3 year project, having held initial stakeholder workshops earlier in the year. We have also recently released a final draft paper reviewing agriculture-nutrition linkages, led by our IDS partner, and a revised version of our Methodology Guidelines and Conceptual Framework, led by the UCC team.

    We would be interested to hear your thoughts on our project and to link with stakeholders and others involved in similar research


  • Welcome to AgriDiet

      AgriDiet is a a research partnership between eight universities and research centres in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Ethiopia and Tanzania, led by University College Cork. The aim is to understand how agriculture impacts on the nutritional status of rural households and to identify policies, practices and interventions that can make a positive impact on […]

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  • Scaling Up Impact on Nutrition: What Will It Take?

    Despite consensus on actions to improve nutrition globally, less is known about how to operationalize the right mix of actions—nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive—equitably, at scale, in different contexts. This review draws on a large scaling-up literature search and 4 case studies of large-scale nutrition programs with proven impact to synthesize critical elements for impact at scale. Nine elements emerged as central: 

    1. having a clear vision or goal for impact; 
    2. intervention characteristics
    3. an enabling organizational context for scaling up
    4. establishing drivers such as catalysts, champions, systemwide ownership, and incentives
    5. choosing contextually relevant strategies and pathways for scaling up
    6. building operational and strategic capacities
    7. ensuring adequacy, stability, and flexibility of financing
    8. ensuring adequate governance structures and systems
    9. embedding mechanisms for monitoring, learning, and accountability. 

    Translating current political commitment to large-scale impact on nutrition will require robust attention to these...

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  • Children’s Diets, Nutrition Knowledge, and Access to Markets

    Chronic undernutrition in Ethiopia is widespread and many children consume highly monotonous diets. To improve feeding practices in Ethiopia, a strong focus in nutrition programing has been placed on improving the nutrition knowledge of caregivers. This paper discusses the impact of caregivers' nutrition knowledge and its complementarity with market access. To test whether the effect of nutrition knowledge on children's dietary diversity depends on market access, survey data from an area with a large variation in transportation costs is used to assess the impact of nutrition knowledge with varying access to markets, but still within similar agro-climatic conditions. 


    • Undernutrition in Ethiopia is widespread and children consume monotonous diets.
    • Better nutrition knowledge leads to large improvements in dietary diversity.
    • But only in areas with relatively good market...

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  • Agricultural production and children’s diets: Evidence from rural Ethiopia

    Study of the relationship between pre-school children's food consumption and household agricultural production using a large household survey from rural Ethiopia. Finds that increasing household production diversity leads to considerable improvements in children's diet diversity. However, this non-separability of consumption and production does not hold for households that have access to food markets. These findings imply that nutrition-sensitive agricultural interventions that push for market-integration are likely to be more effective in reducing undernutrition than those promoting production...

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  • The impact of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme on the nutritional status of children: 2008-2012

    Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) is a large-scale social protection intervention aimed at improving food security and stabilizing asset levels. The PSNP contains a mix of public works employment and unconditional transfers. It is a well-targeted program; however, several years passed before payment levels reached the intended amounts. The PSNP has been successful in improving household food security. However, children’s nutritional status in the localities where the PSNP operates is poor, with 48 percent of children stunted in 2012. This leads to the question of whether the PSNP could improve child nutrition. In this paper, we examine the impact of the PSNP on children’s nutritional status over the period 2008–2012. Doing so requires paying particular attention to the targeting of the PSNP and how payment levels have evolved over time. Using inverse-probability-weighted regression-adjustment estimators, we find no evidence that the PSNP reduces either chronic undernutrition (height-for-age z-scores, stunting) or acute undernutrition (weight-for-height z-scores, wasting). While we cannot definitively identify the reason for this nonresult, we note that child diet quality is poor. We find no evidence that the PSNP improves child consumption of pulses, oils, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, or animal-source proteins. Most mothers have not had contact with health extension workers nor have they received information on good feeding practices. Water practices, as captured by the likelihood that mothers boil drinking water, are poor. These findings, along with work by other researchers, have informed revisions to the PSNP. Future research will assess whether these revisions have led to improvements in the diets and anthropometric status of preschool children in...

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  • Cows, missing milk markets and nutrition in rural Ethiopia

    In rural economies encumbered by significant market imperfections, farming decisions may partly be motivated by nutritional considerations, in addition to income and risk factors. These imperfections create the potential for farm assets to have direct dietary impacts on nutrition in addition to any indirect effects via income. We test this hypothesis for the dairy sector in rural Ethiopia, a context in which markets are very thin, own-consumption shares are very high, and milk is an important source of animal-based proteins and micronutrients for young...

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