In order to determine the role of agricultural biodiversity on dietary intake and nutrition status of preschool children in western Kenya, a sample of 144 households with preschool children was systematically drawn from Matungu division. Structured questionnaires and anthropometric tools were used for data collection. Agricultural biodiversity was measured by variety of food crops grown, animals domesticated for food and food items from natural habitats. Dietary intake was measured in terms of dietary diversity and nutrient intake. Epi-Info software was used to compute nutrition indices and Pearson’s correlation coefficient used to test for statistical associations between variables. Findings showed that households grew three types of food crops, kept two varieties of animals and obtained two food items from natural habitats. Preschool children were not meeting energy, fat, zinc, vitamin A, and calcium requirements, only 3% had consumed highly diversified diets and 35% of the preschool children were stunted. It was found that 48.5% of changes in dietary intake could be attributed to changes in agricultural biodiversity. In addition, 7, 3.6 and 8.1% of changes in underweight, stunting and wasting respectively, could be attributed to changes in dietary intake. Therefore, increased agricultural biodiversity enhances dietary intake thus improved nutrition status.
Key words: Agricultural biodiversity, dietary diversity, nutrient intake.
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