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University of Zululand (2018)

The determinants of food security status among indigent rural households in the Isikelo community of the Mbizana local municipality, Eatern Cape Province

Mbewana, Vusi

Titre : The determinants of food security status among indigent rural households in the Isikelo community of the Mbizana local municipality, Eatern Cape Province

Auteur : Mbewana, Vusi

Université de soutenance : University of Zululand

Grade : Masters Of Commerce in Economics 2018

Résumé
The Eastern Cape is the second largest province in the country, with high levels of poverty, and hence its rural areas, in particular, are considered to be highly food insecure. There is little known about the factors which determine the households’ food security status in small rural towns such as Mbizana, a local Eastern Cape municipality mainly comprising of indigent households, for no such studies have been conducted in this area. The main objective of the study was to identify the relevant factors that affect the food security status of the households in the Isikelo community of the Mbizana local municipality. The study employed a systematic random method to select 330 participants to participate in a survey. The data collection occurred over the period of December 2016 to February 2017. The study used two binary logit models, where the first one estimated the determinants of household food security status using the dietary diversity scores, while the second model used the household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS) developed by USAID in 2007. In the first logit model, five variables were found significant and these variables included household social grants, gender, total monthly income, remittances, and membership in maize cooperative. In the second logit model, the results indicated that 10 of the 15 commonly used predictors that were included in the model, were found to be statistically significant. These variables included household size, government social grants, gender, marital status, total household monthly income, farm income, remittances, improved seed, and subsistence farming (own food production). Moreover, 62.0% of the sampled households were food insecure, whereas 38.0% of them were found to be food secure. In comparison, the dietary diversity scores showed that 52% of the households were food insecure, whereas 48 were found to be food secure. There is a significant discrepancy in these two measures of food security. However, the study prefers the household food insecurity access scale because it uses a norm of 30 days, unlike the dietary diversity scale, which uses the data of 24 hour recall. Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that the government should introduce programmes that promote farm cooperatives, as well as subsistence farming. It is also recommended that government should finance small farmers in order to produce diverse agricultural products in rural areas, which will upgrade the income, as well as food security status, of the households in the relevant municipality.

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