Community-Level Impacts of Climate-Smart Agriculture Interventions on Food Security and Dietary Diversity in Climate-Smart Villages in Myanmar

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Diversification of production to strengthen resilience is a key tenet of climate-smart agriculture (CSA), which can help to address the complex vulnerabilities of agriculture-dependent rural communities. In this study, we investigated the relationship between the promotion of different CSA practices across four climate-smart villages (CSVs) in Myanmar. To determine the impact of the CSA practices on livelihoods and health, survey data were collected from agricultural households (n = 527) over three years. Within the time period studied, the results indicate that some the CSA practices and technologies adopted were significantly associated with changes in household dietary diversity scores (HDDS), but, in the short-term, these were not associated with improvements in the households’ food insecurity scores (HFIAS). Based on the survey responses, we examined how pathways of CSA practice adoption tailored to different contexts of Myanmar’s four agroecologies could contribute to the observed changes, including possible resulting trade-offs. We highlight that understanding the impacts of CSA adoption on household food security in CSVs will require longer-term monitoring, as most CSA options are medium- to long-cycle interventions. Our further analysis of knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs) amongst the households indicated a poor understanding of the household knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to nutrition, food choices, food preparation, sanitation and hygiene. Our KAP findings indicate that current nutrition education interventions in the Myanmar CSVs are inadequate and will need further improvement for health and nutrition outcomes from the portfolio of CSA interventions.