The Effect Of Agricultural Commercialization On The Nutritional Status Of Cocoa Growing Households In Ikwuano lga Of Abia State Nigeria.
The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of agricultural commercialization on nutritional status of children in cocoa growing households in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State. A total of 120 cocoa growing households were randomly selected for the study. Anthropometric measures of 169 children were taken using height meters and bathroom scales. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the calculation of Z – scores values. The Z-scores values were compared against a standard reference population to determine the incidence of malnutrition in households. Results show that there were no short-term nutritional problems but children in households that are more commercialized recorded high prevalence of under-weight and stunting. There were serious long-term nutritional problem of growth retardation as households become more commercialized. The long-term nutritional problem could not only be traced to the effect of agricultural commercialization but is an interaction of complex factors including child's birth weight and morbidity. Community health services have to move in tandem with agricultural development process in order not to over shadow potential positive effects of income from agricultural commercialization.
> International Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development Vol. 9 2007: pp. 12-15