Program Conditionality and Food Security: The Impact of PROGRESA and PROCAMPO Transfers in Rural Mexico
This paper examines the PROGRESA and PROCAMPO cash transfer programs in Mexico and evaluates their impact on household food security and nutrition. These two programs differ in their targeting and design: PROGRESA is aimed at women and program conditionality is linked to current consumption and human capital investment; PROCAMPO benefits male farmers and program conditionality is linked to agricultural production. The main question addressed by the paper is whether a cash transfer program geared to agricultural production can have the same impact on food security as a cash transfer program geared to consumption through purchases. Our results suggest that monetary payments linked to a productive asset -land- can have as large or larger impact on food security as cash transfers not linked to a productive asset. We show that both programs boost total food consumption and caloric intake in similar proportions. However, increased food security is achieved through different channels - for PROGRESA through purchases while for PROCAMPO through investment in home production. This suggests that the choice of program design depends on objectives beyond total food consumption and caloric intake, such as consumption from specific food categories, diversity of food consumption, investment in agricultural production, and the degree of access to retail food markets.
Cash Transfer Programs, PROGRESA, PROCAMPO, Food Security
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