Nithya Vishwanath Gowdru is an Assistant Professor at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR). Based at the Centre for Agrarian Studies, since 2016 she has led and coordinated a portfolio of developmental projects related to agriculture, nutrition, value chain and rural development. Under the Ministry of Rural Development, NIRDPR is the apex national institute in India for capacity building and research in rural development. As IMMANA early career Research Fellow, she will be hosted at the School of Agriculture Policy and Development at University of Reading (UK). Fully funded by a competitive grant awarded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, in 2016 Dr Gowdru received her PhD in Agricultural Economics from the Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany) under the mentorship of Prof. Wolfgang Bokelmann.
Assessments of the impacts of agricultural interventions in LMICs have been largely confined to examining productivity increase. However, it has been recognised that the uptake of innovations may be significantly influenced by human energy expenditure and time-use patterns linked to the use of innovations. Further, the impact of increased productivity on nutrition for individual members of agricultural households may be mediated by gender differentiated intra-household labour and consumption allocation decisions. Incorporating the human energy expenditure dimension in analyses of the uptake of agricultural innovations and their nutrition impacts has been constrained by a lack of reliable robust empirical measurement of energy expenditure associated with agricultural activities in free-living populations. The research proposed under the fellowship programme addresses this gap, by leveraging consumer-friendly wearable technologies i.e accelerometry devices for developing reliable gender differentiated energy expenditure profiles for a sample of rural agricultural households in India. The proposed study will examine the gender dimensions of agriculture-nutrition linkages specifically (1) intra-household gender differences in physical activity and nutrition status (2) association of labour intensification of women in economic activity on their nutrition status.