Raphael O Babatunde. Photo by Camilla Käck

Effects of social protection programs

Can social protection, improve agricultural production, food security and nutrition for rural households? This question will NAI guest researcher Raphael Babatunde look into during 7 October to 29 November. In his research he works to assess the impact of social protection, food security in rural Nigeria.

– To bring people out of poverty in Africa, we need a combination of strategies where social security is an important component, says Raphael O Babatunde.

Babatunde is based at the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Ilorin in Nigeria. As part of his research, he has studied how a social program in Nigeria, aimed at people over 65 years, has been used in order to reduce poverty and food insecurity among the poorest in society. Within the program the state gives the target a certain amount of money every month. The money can be used for healthy food, medicine, clothes, etcetera and aims to increase the standard of living.

– By implementing this policy they could improve the life line, says Babatunde.
In his research Babatunde uses different descriptive and econometric techniques. The analysis is expected to show whether the monetary benefits provided to farm households will help them to buy the necessary inputs and contribute to a larger production or not.

With his research would Babatunde like to contribute to policy initiatives on the development of social protection as a mechanism to reduce poverty and improve food security in Nigeria.

He is talking about social programs that have been implemented in Latin American countries successfully, for a long time, and believes that African governments can learn from them. He is saying that there are also other social programs with similiarities to what he have studied in Nigeria, with different targets, in other African countries. He argues that it is not impossible for African

– What is necessary in order to implement social protection programs is that a politically wheel turns on, says Raphael O Babatunde.

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