SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Mehroosh Tak

BA (Delhi University), MSc (SOAS)
  • Research


Staff Silhouette
SOAS Food Studies Centre


Mehroosh Tak
Email address:
Thesis title:
Public Investments, Agricultural Strategy and Dietary Diversity in Rural India
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

There exists a disconnect between India’s growth rate and prevalence of malnutrition. Even though the Indian government spends large sums on development, it remains a mystery as to why it does not translate into improved nutritional outcomes. A part of the solution lies in the agriculture sector, which has proven to be better at reducing poverty than non-agricultural growth. Thus, there is a case for making government expenditure ‘nutrition-sensitive’ to address the Indian malnutrition problem. The proposed PhD research aims to investigate the determinants of malnutrition by identifying the types of rural public expenditures that yield the highest returns in terms of improved nutrition outcomes via agricultural growth. Based on a system of equations the study shall estimate the number of nutrient deficient people removed out of nutrient deprivation for every million rupees spent on different categories of investments in rural infrastructure and community development. In so doing, the research will address the important policy question of how to allocate public funds to improve nutritional status in India and the role of agricultural growth in the same.


  • Groom, B. and Tak, M. (2015). ‘Welfare Analysis of Changing Food Prices: A Non-parametric Examination of Rice Policies in India’. Food Security, Volume 7, Issue 1 , pp 121-141 10.1007/s12571-014-0413-x
  • Kanter et al (2015). 'A conceptual framework for understanding the impacts of agriculture and food system policies on nutrition and health'. Food Security,  August 2015, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 767-777  10.1007/s12571-015-0473-6
  • Kanter et al (2014). '4th Annual Conference of the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH), Agri-food policy and governance for nutrition and health, London, 3–4 June 2014'. Food Security, Volume 6, Issue 5 , pp 747-753 10.1007/s12571-014-0379-8


  • Leverhulme Centre  for Integrated Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH)
  • Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CEDEP)
  • Food Studies Centre (SOAS)


Development economics, Agriculture economics, Political economy of food, Agricultural and food systems, Poverty reduction