The impacts of the Microfinance Multiplied approach on seasonal food insecurity: Evidence from a high-frequency panel survey in Uganda

Ricardo Morel Berendson, Franziska Gassmann, Bruno Martorano, Nyasha Tirivayi & John Kamau


We study the impact of an innovative program that combines microfinance with farming extension services on food security outcomes in rural South-Western Uganda. For this purpose, we use experimental data and monthly panel data collected over two years to monitor seasonal changes. The results suggest that neither the combined approach of microfinance with farming extension services nor standalone microfinance demonstrated significant effectiveness in reducing food insecurity throughout seasons in the period of analysis. Households in both treatment groups experienced a reduction of dietary diversity mainly during land preparation approximately two years after the start of the interventions. Heterogeneous analysis revealed that households receiving MFM services and having better access to markets experienced occasional improvements in food security. Finally, households with higher food poverty levels in the MFM group experienced some improvements in food security, while those in the Microfinance group encountered sporadic negative outcomes in terms of dietary diversity.

JEL Classification: G21, I3, Q16, Q18

Keywords: dietary diversity, food security, microfinance, agriculture

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