Analysis of Data for Measuring Food Availability, Access and Nutritional Status (Topic 10)

Training Material
[Policy Options on Technology: t-test]

Conventional measures like per capita estimates of income, food consumption and nutritional intake, of course, provide useful profiles on relevant dimensions of FNS. However, it is important to examine the process as well as generation of outcomes pertaining to different policy scenarios on FNS. Such a specification would have a bearing on choice of indicators for policy options and measures of food security outcomes.

These issues are well illustrated in Chapter 2 of Babu and Sanyal (eds.) (2009). It provides a good example of food security profile by technology, choice of indicators, specification of outcome measures and verification in terms of a t-test. The test is based on comprehensive information on household characteristics like age-gender composition and levels and composition of household expenditure. For instance, technology would promote growth, income and employment. As a result, the number of dependents would decrease and the no of meals taken in the household will increase. Babu and Sanyal defines a food security index that takes into account these details. An alternative specification of food security index takes into account capacity to withstand shocks in terms of livestock owned, and realized outcomes in terms of number of meals and stock of food. Finally, a t-test confirms significance of the differences in food security measures between two groups of farmers, those adopting technology and the complement sub-set.

Such profile verifications provide useful policy messages by vindicating policy decisions on adoption of new technology as a solution to food security.

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Date and language
Jan 2012
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FPMU Documentation Center
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