Household-level drivers of dietary diversity in transitioning agricultural systems: Evidence form the Great Mekong Subregion
This study in the Agricultural Systems journal discerns the drivers of household dietary diversity in the context of farmers evolving from subsistence toward commercial production, in the Greater Mekong Region (GMS). Despite connoting economic progress, effects of these changes on household welfare indicators such as dietary diversity have been unclear. The results show that the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) is found to increase among the sites in a way that is roughly associate with their state of agricultural transition, though differing combinations of market orientation, specialisation, and intensification traits that describe such a transition suggest that the pathway to commercialisation, and dietary diversity, is not a linear one. Drivers of dietary diversity vary markedly between the sites. In the Laos site, HDDS is most closely correlated to a set of variables closely linked with agricultural transition, while in the Cambodia site it is associated more with other farm and household characteristics. In the Vietnam site, dietary diversity is correlated to the overall value of crop production. Findings point to the need to contextualise site-specific knowledge of linkages between dietary diversity and ongoing agricultural transition in the GMS, as well as policy and interventions seeking to improve dietary diversity in the face of such transition.