Journal of Food Security
ISSN (Print): 2372-0115 ISSN (Online): 2372-0107 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Food Security. 2017, 5(6), 232-247
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-5-6-4
Open AccessArticle

Level and Determinants of Food Security in North Wollo Zone (Amhara Region – Ethiopia)

Tibebu Aragie1, and Sisay Genanu1

1Department of Economics, Woldia University, Woldia, Ethiopia

Pub. Date: November 07, 2017

Cite this paper:
Tibebu Aragie and Sisay Genanu. Level and Determinants of Food Security in North Wollo Zone (Amhara Region – Ethiopia). Journal of Food Security. 2017; 5(6):232-247. doi: 10.12691/jfs-5-6-4


This paper examines the Determinants of food security in North Wollo Zone. Primary data from 335 households were collected from 16 kebeles of the zone. We used multistage sampling technique, and questionnaire and FGD were used to collect primary data. Both descriptive and econometric method of analysis were used. For econometric analysis, a logistic regression procedure was employed on household socio-economic cross-sectional data collected in 2016 (April and May). Of the fifteen variables fitted in the model; the age of household head, dependency ratio, average monthly expenditure, non-farm income, family size, distance from input market, farmland size, the number of oxen and livestock ownership were found to be significant. About 42 percent of the sample households were measured to be food insecure. Also, the incidence of food insecurity, food insecurity gap, and severity of food insecurity was 42, 14 and 7 percent respectively. These results have important policy implications for the expansion of non-farm activities and the introduction of livestock stocking programs at the household level to improve the food security status of households.

households food security logistic regression

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  FAO (2006). Emergency and Rehabilitation Programme in Southern Africa.
[2]  Arega B. (2013). “Determinants of household food security in drought prone areas of Ethiopia: case study in Lay Gaint District, Amhara region”, Ph.D. dissertation, University of South Africa
[3]  Devereux S, S Maxwell (2001). “Food Security in Sub- Saharan Africa” ITDG.
[4]  Sen, A. (1984). Rights and Capabilities: Resources, Values, and Development. Blackwell, Oxford University, U.K.
[5]  Barrett, C. B. (2002). Food Security and Food Assistance Programs. In: Gardner, B. and Rausser, G. (eds.) Handbook of Agricultural Economics (Pp.1-75). Department of Agriculture, Resource, and Managerial Economics. Elsevier, Ithaca, Cornell University.
[6]  USAID (United States Agency for International Development). 1995. Food and Food Security.
[7]  Eleni Gebremedhin. (2012). “A Conversation with Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin”. NYU Africa house. accessed at:
[8]  Hoffmann, U. (2011). Assuring Food Security in Developing Countries under the Challenges of Climate Change: Key Trade and Development Issues of a Fundamental Transformation of Agriculture. Discussion Papers, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
[9]  UNDP (2012). Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty in Ethiopia. UNDP Final Report.
[10]  World Fact Book (2013). Ethiopian Demographic Profile in the Year 2013. Vailable at (accessed August 2013).
[11]  CSA and world food program (2014). “Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis,” Executive Summary.
[12]  Von Braun, J., and Webb, P. (1994). Famine and Food Security in Ethiopia-Lessons for Africa. IFPRI. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Singapore.
[13]  Pernille et al. (2004). The impact of the joint program in North Wollo, Ethiopia: Enhanced food security and livelihood sustainability for the poor?
[14]  Shimels H. (2013). The impact of disaster risk management interventions in Humanitarian Programmes on household food security.
[15]  Amsalu et’al (2013). “Analysis of Factors Determining Households Food Security in Pastoral Area Oromia Region, Moyale District, in Ethiopia” International Journal of Agricultural Science, Research and Technology Available online on
[16]  Zerihun, N. and Getachew, A. (2013). “Levels of Household Food Insecurity in Rural Areas of Guraghe Zone, Southern Ethiopia” Wudpecker Journal of Agricultural Research 2(1): 8-14.
[17]  Wali and Penporn (2013) “Determinants of Rural household food security in Jigjiga district of Ethiopia” Kasetsart J. (Soc. Sci) 34: 171-180 (2013).
[18]  Ramakrishna G. & Demeke, A. (2002). An empirical analysis of food insecurity in Ethiopia. The case of North Wello. Africa Development Bank; Vol. XXVII (1), 127-143.
[19]  Aberra, A. 2002. The Impact of the 1996 Amhara Regional Land Redistribution and Productivity and Household Food Security, a Comparison between the Losers and Beneficiaries Households: The Case of Enebsie Sar-Medir Woreda, East Gojam Zone. Unpublished Master Thesis, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
[20]  Samuel Toyin Olowogbon, “Health and Safety in Agriculture and Food Security Nexus,” International Journal of Emerging Sciences 1, no. 2 (June 2011): 73.
[21]  Strintzos, M. and Mulugeta, B. 2009. Ethiopia, Shifting Paradigms: Famine Prevention. In: Sagro, A. and Naerstad, A. (eds.) Right or bad Aid for Agricultural and Rural Development? Case Studies and Overview of Support for Agriculture and Rural Development (Pp. 23-36). Relief Society of Tigray (REST), Ethiopia. Published by the More and Better Campaign, Rome, Italy.
[22]  MoARD. 2009. Food Security Program 2010-2014. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
[23]  Workneh, N. 2008. Food Security Strategy and Productive Safety Net Program. In: Taye, A. (ed.) Digest of Ethiopia’s National Policies, Strategies, and Programs (Pp.1-22). Forum for Social Studies, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
[24]  Alem A, (2005). “Determinants of food security in the Vulnerable areas of Ethiopia” The case of Ahferom wereda in regional Tigray.
[25]  Alemu, Z., Haile, H. and Kudhlande, G. 2005. Causes of Household Food Insecurity in Koredegaga Peasant Association, Oromiya Zone, Ethiopia. Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Free State, South Africa.
[26]  Devereux, S., Sharp, K. and Yared Amare, 2003, ‘Destitution in Wollo, Ethiopia’, Research Report 55, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies.
[27]  Von Braun, J., Bonis, H., Kumar, S., Pandya-Lorch, R., 1992. Improving food security of the poor: concept, policy, and programs. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC.
[28]  H. Charles J. Godfray, John R. Beddington, Ian R. Crute, Lawrence Haddad, David Lawrence, James F. Muir, Jules Pretty, Science 327 (5967), 812-818.
[29]  Abi, M. 2001. Chronic Food Insecurity in Ethiopia: Looking through Livelihood Lens. In: Yard, A. (ed.) Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods in Ethiopia. Proceedings of the Symposium of the Form of Social Studies. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 10-11 March 2001.
[30]  Saad, M. 1999. Food Security for the Food-Insecure: New Challenges and Renewed Commitments. Women’s Caucus Position Paper for CSD-8. Center for Development Studies, Dublin University College, Ireland.
[31]  Svedberg, P. 2013. Assessing Hunger: What do the FAO’s Revised Undernourishment Figures Tell Us? International Trade and Sustainable Development (ITSD). Available at: Http://Ictsd.Org/I/Agriculture/158105/ (Accessed August 2013).
[32]  Sewmehon, D. 2012. Livestock Water Productivity (LWP) Improvement in the Mixed Crop-Livestock System of Ethiopian Highlands, Amhara Region: A Gendered Sustainable Livelihood Approach to Target LWP Interventions for Rural Poverty Reduction. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany.
[33]  Bogale, A. and A. Shimelis, 2009. Household level determinants of food insecurity in rural areas of Dire Dawa, Eastern Ethiopia. African Journal of Food and Agriculture, Nutrition, and Development; 9(9): 1914-1926.
[34]  FAO and WFP. 2012. Livelihood Assets: Integrated Food Security. Phase Classification: Johannesburg, South Africa.
[35]  Burns, J. and Bogale, S. (2011) Linking Poor Rural Households to Microfinance and Markets in Ethiopia; Baseline and Mid-Term Assessment of the PSNP Plus project in Sekota, Feinstein International Center, Medford, MA.
[36]  Devereux, Stephen and Philip White. 2008. Social Protection in Africa: Can Evidence, Rights and Politics Converge? Paper presented at the Conference on Social Protection for the Poorest in Africa: Learning from Experience, Chronic Poverty Research Centre, Development Research & Training and Brooks World Poverty Institute, Entebbe, Uganda, 8-10 September.
[37]  Birara , E., Mequanent, M. and Samuel, T.(2015), Assessment of Food Security Situation in Ethiopia, World Journal of Dairy & Food Sciences 10 (1): 37-43, 2015.
[38]  Shishay, K. and M. Messay, 2014. Determinants of rural household food insecurity in Laelay Maichew Woreda Tigray, Ethiopia. African Journal of Agriculture and Food Security, 2(1): 106-112.
[39]  Shiferaw, F., Kilmer, R. L., & Gladwin, C. (2003). Determinants of food security in Southern Ethiopia. Paper Presented at the 2003 American Agricultural Economics Association Meetings in Montreal, Canada.
[40]  Webb P, Von Braun J & Yisehac Y (1992). Famine in Ethiopia: Policy implication of the coping failure at national and household levels. Research Report No 92, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC.
[41]  Haile M. (2005). Weather patterns, food security and humanitarian response in sub-Saharan Africa. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. B. 360, 2169-2182.
[42]  Devereux, S. (2001). Famine in the 20th century. IDS Working Paper, 105, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex.
[43]  Muluken, Y. (2005). Measuring household food security status and its determinants in the Benshangul Gumuz Region of Ethiopia. Alemaya University, Ethiopia.
[44]  Nejafi, B. (2003). The current land utilization systems and their contribution to agricultural productivity. APO Seminar on the impact of land use systems on agricultural productivity, Productivity Organization. The Islamic Republic of Iran.
[45]  Aliber, M., & Hart, T. G. B. (2009). Should subsistence agriculture be supported as a strategy to address rural food insecurity? Agrekon, 48(4), 434-458.
[46]  Debebe, H. (1995). Food security: A brief review of concepts and indicators. Proceedings of the Inaugural and First Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economic Society of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 8-9 June 1995.
[47]  Edgar et al 2014. Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features. Nature, 506: 216-220.
[48]  Omotosho JB. 2006. Pre-rainy season moisture build-up and storm precipitation delivery in the West African Sahel. International Journal of Climatology (In press).
[49]  Misgana A, (2014)”Rural household food security status and its determinants” The case of Laelaymychew Woreda, Central Zone of Tigray, Ethiopia. Journal of Agricultural extension and rural development. Vol6(5). pp.162, May, 2014.
[50]  Fekadu B, and Mekuanent M, (2010). “Determinants of food security among Rural Households of Central Ethiopia An Empirical Analysis.” Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture 49 (2010), No. 4: 299-318.
[51]  Muhammad Khalid Bashirab, Steven Schilizzia, and Ram Pandita, 2012, The Determinants of Rural Household Food Security for Landless Households of the Punjab, Pakistan, Working Paper 1208. School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
[52]  Oluyole, K.A., O.A. Oni, B.T. Omonona, and K.O. Adenegan, 2009. Food Security Cocoa Farming Households of Ondo State, Nigeria. ARPN Journal of Agriculture and Biological. Sciences, 4: 7-13.
[53]  Fekadu, 2008. Determinants of Household Food Security with a particular focus on Rainwater Harvesting: the case of Bulbula in Adami-Tulu Jido Kombolcha Woreda, Oromia Region, Ethiopia.
[54]  Yamane, Taro. 1967. Statistics, An Introductory Analysis, 2nd Ed., New York: Harper and Row.
[55]  CSA (2005). The National Statistics, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
[56]  MoFED, (2002). Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Ethiopia: Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Program. Addis Ababa: MoFED
[57]  Tilaye, T.D., 2004. Food insecurity: Extent, determinants and household coping mechanisms in Gera Keya Wereda, Amhara region. M.A. Thesis, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
[58]  Hoddinott, J. 2001. “Targeting: Principles and Practice.” In J. Hoddinott, ed., Food Security Practice: Methods for Rural Development Projects. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute.
[59]  Girma G, (2012). “Determinants of food insecurity among households in Addis Ababa city, Ethiopia” Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems 10(2), 159-173, 2012.
[60]  Fisher and Lewin (2014). “Household, community, and policy determinants of food insecurity in rural Malawi” Development Southern Africa, 2013 Vol. 30, Nos. 4-5, 451-467.
[61]  Eneyew A., Bekele W. Causes of household food insecurity in Wolayta. Journal of Stored Products and Postharvest Research. 2012; 3(3): 35-48.
[62]  Idrisa et al. (2008). “Analysis of food security status among farming households in JERE local government of Bonro state, Nigeria” Journal of Tropical Agriculture, Food, Environment, and Extension Volume 7 Number 3 September 2008 pp. 199-205.
[63]  Adana, T. 2008. Correlates of Household Food Insecurity in Daro-Labu Woreda West Hararge Zone of Oromia National Regional State, Ethiopia. Unpublished Master Thesis, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
[64]  Getinet K, (2011). Linking small-scale irrigation and household food security in drought-prone area of North East Ethiopia: a case study of Alawuha irrigation scheme in Gubalafto Woreda, North wollo Zone South Africa, pp: 350.
[65]  Kwadwo et al. (2013). “Determinants of food security in selected Agro-pastoral communities of Somali and Oromia regions, Ethiopia” Journal of Food Science and Engineering 3 (2013). 453-471.
[66]  Mitik A, Legesse W (2014). The causes and consequences of smallholder farmers’ vulnerability to food insecurity in South Western Ethiopia. 2(3): 040-046.
[67]  Copas, J.B. (1988): Binary Regression Models for Contaminated Data.
[68]  Devereux S (2006). Identification of methods and tools for emergency assessments to distinguish between chronic and transitory food insecurity, and to evaluate the effects of the various types and combinations of shocks on these different livelihood groups. Rome: United Nations World Food Program.
[69]  Hotz, C., and K.H. Brown. 2004. Assessment of the risk of zinc deficiency in populations and options for its control. Food & Nutrition Bulletin 25: 94-204.