Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2014, 2(3), 92-99
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-2-3-4
Open AccessArticle

Determinants of Households Food Security and Coping Strategies for Food Shortfall in Mareko District, Guraghe Zone Southern Ethiopia

Tewodros Tefera1, and Fikadu Tefera1

1Hawassa University, College of Agriculture, School of Environment, Gender and Development Studies

Pub. Date: December 28, 2014

Cite this paper:
Tewodros Tefera and Fikadu Tefera. Determinants of Households Food Security and Coping Strategies for Food Shortfall in Mareko District, Guraghe Zone Southern Ethiopia. Journal of Food Security. 2014; 2(3):92-99. doi: 10.12691/jfs-2-3-4


Better understanding of major determinants of food security at household level is important to design appropriate interventions in order to ensure food security for food insecure households in Ethiopia. This study was conducted to identify major factors influencing farm household food security and coping strategies employed to cope with food shortfall. Households’ daily calorie availability was measured to determine household food security status. A total of 130 randomly selected households from Mareko Woreda of Guraghe Zone in Southern Region were involved as source of information. The finding of the study shows that 62 % of sample households were food insecure. Despite the food secure households acquisition of adequate kilo calories they faced 2.46 food deficient months indicating the weekly calories availability per adult equivalent may not best describe food security status year round. The inferential analysis revealed that family size, size of cultivated land, number of oxen, contact with development agent, off-farm income, total farm income, livestock holding measured in tropical livestock unit, perception on absence of adequate rainfall and participation in food aid were significantly differ between food secure and insecure households. Logistic regression model resulted eleven significant variables at less than 10% probability level among 17 variables. These were age of household head, level of education, household size, size of cultivated land, use of improved seed, number of contact with development agents, size of credit received, size of livestock owned, and off-farm income per adult equivalent. The model estimate correctly predicted 90.8% of the sample cases, 90% for food secure and 91.3 for food insecure households. Coping strategies which were practiced by sample households at both initial and sever stages of food shortage are reducing number of meal, reducing size of meal, borrowing cash and grain and receiving food aid, sales of animals, participating in food for work programs, off-farm and non-farm jobs, rent out land and mortgage land. The study recommends that proactive policy in family planning, strengthening extension support, incorporating coping strategy in the government regular projects and programs, promoting land intensive and conservation agriculture should be integrated as food security efforts of the government.

food security calorie acquisition coping strategy logit

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