Impact of Community Development Initiatives and Access to Community Markets on Household Food Security and Nutrition in Ghana
There is evidence that agricultural development and market interventions can improve household food security and nutrition. Households in communities with community development initiatives (such as community farming, electrification, and storage systems) could enhance household food security and nutrition directly through increased output and value addition. They could also enhance food security indirectly by increasing household income and purchasing power. This would allow them to buy food and other nutrition enhancing complementary food and services. Similarly, access to markets could improve the terms of trade for accessible households; it would reduce related transaction costs, which would reduce consumer prices for any food item and increase producer price for agricultural output. However, inadequate agricultural infrastructure and access to markets in many SSA countries, and Ghana in particular, normally hinder households’ ability to transform farm produce into food consumption. This situation also limits households’ income as it tends to lower producer prices for their harvests and increase consumer prices for purchased food items. Furthermore, in spite of the complexity of the relationship between agricultural interventions and nutrition, and the high malnutrition incidence in several SSA countries, and Ghana in particular, policy and research efforts have often focused on food security and calories intake. Little attention has been given to the impact of development and market interventions on micronutrients or other specific composition of the food consumed. This study examined the impact of community development initiatives and community markets on household food consumption score and nutrients in Ghana.