Effect of Agricultural Seasons on Energy Intake: Evidence from Two Agro-Ecologically Different Rural Districts of India

Seasonality is recognised as a constraint to agricultural production and food and nutrition security of rural households. It alters the energy intake from different groups of foods based on the availability. These variations in energy intake affect the nutritional status of the population. Eight villages in Wardha district of Maharashtra state and eleven villages in Koraput district of Odisha state were purposefully selected for the study. Foods consumed by households were collected using a semi-quantitative questionnaire in three rounds in 2013-14 and 2014-15 to cover the lean (January-April), planting (May-August) and harvest (September-December) periods in agriculture. Cereals (wheat and rice), pulses, roots and tubers, fats and sugars were consumed daily in Wardha. In Koraput, the daily diet included cereals (rice and finger millet), other vegetables, fats and sugars. Cereals supplied majority of the total energy intake in both the study area (63% in Wardha and 85% in Koraput); the contribution is higher during lean period in Wardha and during planting in Koraput. Significant variation was found in the mean intake of food groups and the energy obtained from them between seasons except for few food groups.

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This research has been funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK Government’s official policies

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