Mali reports one of the highest fertility levels in the world. Most Malians grow their own food or rely on locally grown food to feed their families. Because Mali is potentially facing a loss of existing arable land due to climate change, however, concern over the ability of the country to meet the nutritional needs of its growing population is high. Building on historical studies of fertility and agriculture, in this research we examine the impact of local food production on fertility outcomes, taking advantage of geo-referenced health data and recently developed analytic strategies from the remote sensing literature. To examine this relationship we rely on the Demographic and Health Survey data from 2006 as well as on a collection of very high-resolution remotely sensed imagery. Results suggest that fertility, and in some cases fertility aspirations, is positively related to food production and broader scale food production strategies. These results hold even after accounting for individual variation in socioeconomic status.
- fertility, food insecurity, food production, Mali, remote sensing