A Community-Based Assessment of Diversification Strategies and Dietary Diversity with Smallholder Coffee Cooperatives and Farmers in Nicaragua

Authors: Vanessa Shin*, , Christopher Bacon*, Santa Clara University, William Sundstrom, Santa Clara University
Topics: Agricultural Geography
Keywords: Nicaragua, Central America, coffee, food insecurity, agroecology, dietary diversity, crop diversification
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Despite comprising nearly half of the world’s most malnourished and food insecure people, many smallholder farmers conserve high levels of biodiversity. They are increasingly employing agroecological approaches to improve diets, manage risk, and optimize productivity. Agroecology, a holistic framework that weaves together ecological, economic, and social sustainability through food production, is often associated with improved health and food security. However, the current literature reflects a lack of empirical research on which specific diversification strategies and practices contribute to dietary diversity, food security and resilience, in different contexts. Our research responds to this research gap by integrating qualitative research drawn from interviews and focus groups with the results from 172 livelihood and agricultural surveys on crop diversification, diet, and livelihoods conducted from 2017 through 2018. This poster characterizes the current diversification practices, income sources, and responses to food insecurity among smallholder coffee farmers in Nicaragua. Mean comparisons between diversification types are computed through ANOVA, paired t-tests, or their non-parametric equivalents. In addition, we assess predictors of dietary diversity and susceptibility to severe events using linear regression models. Preliminary analysis suggests a significant association between on farm agricultural diversity and dietary diversity.

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