Participating in a nutrition-sensitive agriculture intervention was not associated with less maternal time for care in a rural Ghanaian district

Elsevier, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 6, Issue 10, October 2022, nzac145
Yvonne E Goh, Grace S Marquis, Esi K Colecraft, Richmond Aryeetey


Nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) interventions may increase farm-related work for mothers, with consequences for child nutrition. The Nutrition Links (NL) intervention provided mothers with poultry, gardening inputs, technical support, and education to improve livelihoods and child nutrition outcomes in rural Ghana.


Our objective was to compare time allocated to child care by a cross-section of mothers in the intervention group of the NL intervention with the control group (NCT01985243).


A cross-section of NL mother-child pairs was included in a time allocation substudy [intervention (NL-I) n = 74 and control (NL-C) n = 69]. In-home observations of the mother-child pair were conducted for 1 min, every 5 min, for 6 h. Observations were categorized into 4 nonoverlapping binary variables as follows: 1) maternal direct care, 2) maternal supervisory care, 3) allocare, and 4) no direct supervision. Allocare was defined as care by another person in the presence or absence of the mother. Any care was defined as the observation of maternal direct care, maternal supervisory care, or allocare. Generalized linear mixed models with binomial data distribution were used to compare the child care categories by group, adjusting for known covariates.


Maternal direct care (OR = 1.07; 95% CI: 0.89, 1.28) and any care (OR = 1.56; 95% CI: 0.91, 2.67) did not differ by intervention group. However, there was a higher odds of allocare (OR = 1.36; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.79) in NL-I than in NL-C women.


Maternal participation in an NSA intervention was not associated with a decrease in time spent directly on child care but was associated with an increase in care from other household and community members.