The drivers of malnutrition in northern Nigeria

Chronic malnutrition is judged to be among the most important adverse results of continual underinvestment in agriculture in the country since the restructuring of the economy of Nigeria towards oil production in the 1950s.
A sharp sustained reduction in the number of children in Nigeria who are malnourished and, in consequence, stunted in their physical and cognitive abilities is needed to bring about significant progress in the human and economic development of the country. An understanding of the underlying causes of malnutrition in Nigeria is required to identify specific solutions, which if implemented, will significantly improve the nutritional well-being of children in the country.

The objective of the study is to determine the drivers of chronic malnutrition that individually or collectively significantly impact the populations in Kebbi and Bauchi states, and, insofar as the results from the two states can be extrapolated, for northern Nigeria more broadly, in order to identify feasible strategies for improving the nutritional status of children under five years of age with a focus on reducing the level of child stunting (low height-for-age). Both agricultural and non-agricultural strategies for addressing chronic malnutrition in these children will be identified and evaluated through the study.

Research Team Leader

Dr. Todd Benson (IFPRI)

Research Team members

Dr. Mulubrhan Amare (IFPRI)

Mr. Olusegun Fadare (IFPRI)

Ms. Motunrayo Oyeyemi (IFPRI)

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