Non-farm work, food poverty, and nutrient availability in northern Ghana
This article in the Journal of Rural Studies analyzes the nexus between different types of non-farm work (own business, wage employment, and their combination) and household food nutrient availability in northern Ghana. Despite the significant economic development in Ghana, northern Ghana has made little progress. Nationally, households engaged in the non-farm work are less likely to be categorized as poor, relative to those engaged in farming only. Quantitative analysis of a sample of 3488 farming households and 5770 individuals indicates that, non-farm work positively affects food nutrient availability; and that farming households that own non-farm business are superior in terms of their nutrient availability and the extent of food security. Furthermore, households participating in the labor market in search of supplemental income do not appear to have better food security status relative to those engaged in farming only. Finally, females participating in non-farm work provide the largest contribution to household food nutrient availability. The study recommends the implementation of policies and building of infrastructure that foster the creation of non-farm income generating opportunities in northern Ghana, coupled with a framework that enables women to take advantage of these opportunities.