Factors enhancing household nutrition outcomes in potato value chain in South-Western Uganda
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In Uganda, agricultural commercialization has been promoted to reduce poverty and improve household food security. South-western Uganda, the major producer of potato, has been considered the food basket of the country but it has one of the highest prevalence rates of stunting in children under 5. This study considered potato enterprise as a key pathway for enhancing household food and nutrition security because it has become a major income source and staple in the diets of many households in the area and most urban areas in the country. The objective was to determine factors that influence farm household nutrition and food security outcomes. Through a survey, data were collected from 434 randomly selected potato farmer households. Descriptive and econometric methods were used in data analysis. Results show that household dietary diversity score was low (3.2) for most (57%) of the households. Only 38% were food secure. The main factors enhancing household nutrition outcomes were size of land, livestock units owned, proportion of household income spent on food, and education of household head, while farmer’s experience in potato production had a negative effect. The size of land owned, crop diversification, income from potato, age and education of household head, and a farmer being male enhanced household food security outcomes. The study recommends promoting improved production practices to maximize land productivity, integration of livestock in potato production, and training women and men in household food and nutrition and related use of income.