The concept of food security was originated in the mid-1970s. The initial focus
of food security was primarily on food availability and to some degree the price
stability of basic food stuffs at the international and national level (Clay,
2002; FAO, 2005). Thus, in the 1970s the issue of
food security was the national food supply's capacity to meet the population's
energy and nutrient needs. The concept of household food security has been understood
by many development workers as the availability of food in the world market
place and on the food production systems of developing countries (FANTA,
2003; Bedeke, 2012).
The term food security was introduced, evolved, developed and diversified by
different researchers since the World Food Conference in 1974. Food security
is perceived at the global, national, household and individual levels. Food
security at global level does not guarantee food security at the national level
and food security at the national level does not guarantee food security at
the household (Duffuor, 2011).
Food insecurity is decreasing in the world where 925 million people are undernourished.
Out of them, about 900 million people are living in developing countries (FAO,
2010). The majority of food insecure and hungry people in the global context
live in Asia and the Pacific (16%), Sub-Saharan Africa (30%), North Africa (8%)
and Latin America and the Caribbean (9%). On the other hand, about 870 million
people are estimated to have been undernourished in the period 2010-12. Out
of them, about 852 million people are living in developing countries. This figure
represents 12.5% of the global population (FAO, 2012).Whereas,
a total of 842 million people in 2011-13 were estimated to be suffering from
chronic hunger, regularly not getting food to conduct an active life. The total
number of undernourished has fallen by 17% since 1990-92 (FAO,
The performance of agriculture in terms of feeding the countrys population
is poor. Currently in Ethiopia, there are more than 10 million people who have
been affected by drought. Some 4.6 million people are threatened by hunger and
malnutrition and require urgent food assistance. The deteriorating situation
is compounded by high food prices (WFP, 2009).
Several studies indicated that 41% of the Ethiopian population lives below
the poverty line and 31.6 million people are undernourished. The latest undernourishment
numbers show a positive trend (1990-92:71% of the population; 1995-97: 64%,
2000-02: 50%, 2004-06: 44%) (FAO, 2010). The concentrations
of food insecurity and malnutrition are prevalent in rural areas with a population
of six to seven million chronically food insecure and up to 13 million seasonally
food insecure (ATA, 2010).
Different factors were identified in various studies that aggravate food insecurity
problem in Ethiopia. These are: Poor soil fertility, land shortage, occasional
droughts and degradation of farm lands, frost attack and chronic shortage of
cash income, poor farming technologies, weak extension services, high labour
wastage and poor social and infrastructural situation. The combinations of those
factors have resulted in serious and growing problem of household level food
insecurity in Ethiopia (Hussein, 2006; Gilligan
et al., 2008).
Through time, poor and hungry populations become less flexible to stress and
disasters as they rely a great deal on the natural environment and lack the
capacity and the resources required recovering from disasters (Oluoko-Odingo,
2011). In Ethiopia, the seriousness of food shortage problem varies from
one area to another depending on the state of the natural resources and the
extent of development of food shortage (Mitiku et al.,
METERIALS AND METHODS
Description of the study area: Mana is one of the woredas in the Oromiya
region of Ethiopia. Part of the Jimma Zone, Mana is bordered on the south by
Seka chekorsa, on the west by Gomma, on the north by Limmukossa and on the east
by Kersa. It is classified in to dega (12%), woinadega (63%) and kolla (25%)
agro-climatic zones. Average rainfall is 1,467 mm. The 2007 national census
reported a total population for this woreda of 149,631, of whom 76,218 were
men and 73,414 were women, 4,393 or 3% of its population were urban dwellers
Mixed cropping system is mainly practiced in the district. Maize, teff, sorghum,
barley, wheat, coffee, chat and horse bean are the most widely cultivated crops
in the district. Chat and coffee are important cash crops. The households purchase
cereals from the market through the income they generated from sale of coffee
and chat produce. This implies that those perennial crops encourage farm households
to be food secured (OCFCU, 2006).
Sampling procedure: A multistage sampling technique was used for this
study where in the first step Jimma Zone was selected purposively and second
step Mana Woreda was selected to address food security issue. Then at the third
step, two Kebeles namely: Gube Muleta and Lemi Lelesa were selected by using
simple random sampling followed by probability proportional to sampling technique.
A total of 38 and 32 households were selected from Lemi Lelesa and Gube Muleta
Data collection: Both primary and secondary data were collected from
different sources to identify important variable that affect household food
security. To generate primary data, household interview schedule was used to
ask the respective households directly about food security issue. This method
of data collection is crucial to get first hand information about food security
status, determinants of household food security and range of coping strategy
practiced by food insecure households. Secondary data was collected from published
and unpublished sources related to the subject.
Data analysis: Household caloric acquisition was used to measure food
security in the study area. After the data were collected from sample respondents,
the results obtained were compared with the minimum requirements per day per
Adult Equivalent (A.E). Accordingly, the household whose caloric consumption
greater than or equal to 2100 kcal/day/AE was categorized as food secure. On
the other hand, households whose consumption less than 2100 kcal/day/AE was
categorized as food insecure.
Statistical analysis: The collected data was analyzed by Statistical
Package for Social Sciences version 16.0. To estimate food insecurity incidence,
depth and severity, Foster Greer Thorbeck (FGT) was employed. The household
is food secure when Yi>Z for this model.
||Number of food insecure households
||Minimum requirements per day per adult equivalent (2100 kcal/day/AE)
||Calorie intake of each food insecure households
||Weight attached to food insecurity
||Total sample size
Within this FGT index, we compute the three most commonly employed indices:
Head count ratio, food insecurity gap and squared food insecurity gap. The head
count ratio indicated the number of households whose caloric intake is less
than the minimum requirements. On the other hand, food insecurity gap measure,
on average, how far the food insecure households are below the cut off value
and square food insecurity gap is a measure closely related to severity of food
insecurity gap but giving those further away from the minimum level a higher
weight in aggregation than those closer to the subsistence level (Hoddinott,
Binary logistic regression model was used to address the objective of this
study. Household food security is a dependent variable for this model.
||Probability of being food secure
||Probability of being food insecure
||Coefficients of explanatory variables
Hypothesis: The dependent variable for this study is household food
security. It is hypothesized to be a function of the following variables.
Age of household head: It is a continuous explanatory variable measured
by year. Older people have relatively richer experiences of the social and physical
environments and greater experience of farming activities. Older household heads
are expected to have better access to land than younger heads, because younger
men either have to wait for land redistribution, or have to share land with
their families (Kidane et al., 2005). Thus,
it is hypothesized that age of the household heads and household food security
are positively correlated. So, it is hypothesized that age of the household
heads and household food security are positively correlated.
Educational status of household head: It is dummy variable and an important
determinant of household food security status in that educated households have
a better chance of adopting soil conservation measures which in turn increases
crop production (Million and Kassa, 2004). Educated
household head has the capacity to innovate and to adopt timely technology and
has better understanding of the cash crops that can help them to have a better
income than the non-educated households (Fekadu, 2008;
Amaza et al., 2009). Thus, education status is
hypothesized to have a positive effect on household food security.
Family size: It refers to the total number of household members who
lived and eat with household at least for six months. It is an important variable
which determines the state of household food security and expected to have negative
effect on household food security (Beyene and Muche, 2010;
Mequanent, 2009). According to reviewed literatures,
increasing family size tends to exert more pressure on consumption than the
labour it contributes to production (Tsegay, 2009).
Farm land size: It is continuous explanatory variable and an important
determinant of household food security. Farm size is the total area of land
cultivated to food and cash crop by households, measured in hectares. Positive
relationship has been established between farm size and improvement in households
income and food security (Jayne et al., 2005;
Yilma, 2005). It is therefore, expected of a household
with a larger farm size to be more food secure than a household with a smaller
Dependency ratio: It is measured as total household size divided by
the number of individuals working to support the household. Due to the scarcity
of resources, an increase in household size especially the non-working members
put pressure on consumption than production (Mequanent, 2009;
Aschalew, 2006; Feleke et al.,
2005). An increase in the number of non-working member of household or dependency
ratio increases the food insecurity level of household (Feleke
et al., 2005). Number of oxen owned: Oxen are the most important
means of land cultivation and basic factors of production. Households who own
more oxen have better chance to escape food shortages since the possession of
oxen allows effective utilization of the land and labour resources of the household
(Getinet, 2011; Guled, 2006; Tesfaye,
2005). Positive correlation is expected between number of ox/oxen owned
and household food security.
On farm income: This source of income is collected from sale of crop
produce, sale of livestock and livestock products and hiring of agricultural
land. The more household head engage in gainful employment, the higher he/she
earns income and the greater the chances of being food secure (Beyene
and Muche, 2010).
Use of farm inputs: Refers to use of chemical fertilizer, improved seed,
pesticide and herbicide. The amount of farm input used was converted to monetary
value based on market price during time of the survey. A household who could
have used farm inputs was hypothesized to have positive relation with food security
status because he/she produce more (Arene and Anyaeji,
2010). Credit access: Credit serves as a means to boost production and expand
income generating activities. Thus, a household which has access to credit does
initiate investment in farm and non-farm activities and achieve food security.
Thus, it is hypothesized that credit access has positive relation with household
food security (Gebrehiwot, 2006).
To identify food secure and insecure households, food items consumed for seven
days were obtained from respective households. Then after it was converted to
kcal/day basis and it has been made ready to calculate kcal/day/AE. On the other
hand family size which was collected in number was converted to adult equivalent.
Lastly, the household whose caloric consumption is greater than or equal to
2100 kcal/day/AE was categorized as food secure. On the other hand, the household
caloric consumption is less than 2100 kcal/day/AE was categorized as food insecure.
Accordingly, 42.9% households were food insecure whereas, 57.1% of them were
Descriptive statistics of continuous variables: The mean ages of the
food insecure households were 45.1 years with standard deviation of 12.6 and
the food secured household also 41.5 years with standard deviation of 10.2 (Table
|| Descriptive statistics of continuous variables
|***,**Significant p<0.01, p<0.05 and p<0.1, respectively,
Source own survey
The mean number of family size of food insecure households was 6.1 with standard
deviation of 1.7 and for food secure households 5.1 and 1.4, respectively (Table
1). The survey indicated that there is significant mean difference between
households because of family size at p<0.01.
This analysis aimed to see whether there is a significant difference in the
presence of dependent members between the food insecure and the food secured
households. The mean number of dependents of food insecure households was 0.3
with standard deviation of 0.3; and 0.2 and 0.1 for food secure households,
respectively (Table 1). The independent t-test shows significant
difference in the presence of dependent members with in the household at p<0.1.
The average farm land size owned by food insecure households was 1.4 ha with
standard deviation of 0.7 where as, 1.6 ha with standard deviation of 0.8 for
food secure households (Table 1).
On average, food insecure and secure households earned total cash income of
10,922 and 12,717 ETB (Ethiopian Birr) from on farm source, respectively (Table
The averages of farm income generated by food insecure and secure households
were 176.7 and 1,994 ETB from of farm income, respectively (Table
1). The independent t-test showed that there is significant difference between
the food secure and insecure households at p<0.05. This finding is statistically
significant at p<0.05.
Non-farm income is the third source of household income generated from petty
trade, handicraft and sale of charcoal and construction work during off farm
season in the study area. On average food insecure and secure households generated
1447.5 and 2085 ETB from non-farm income, respectively.
The average number of oxen owned by food insecure household was 0.8 with standard
deviation of 0.7 and 1.1 with standard deviation of 0.8 for food secure households
Descriptive statistics of discrete variables: The survey result indicated
that 95.7 and 34.3% households were male and female headed households, respectively.
Among male headed households 40% and 55.7% were found to be food insecure and
secure, respectively. On the other hand, 2.9 and 1.4% were food insecure and
secure from female headed households, respectively (Table 2).
From Table 2, 94.2 and 5.8% household heads were found to
be married and divorced. From married household heads 40% and 54.3% were food
insecure and secure households whereas, 2.9% for divorced households were food
insecure and secure equally (Table 2).
The result in Table 2 revealed that 45.7 and 54.3% households
were literate and illiterate. From literate household heads, 12.9 and 32.9%
households were food insecure and secure, respectively. Whereas, 30 and 24.3%
of illiterate household heads were food secure and insecure, respectively. Education
is an important variable for household food security because literate household
head shape the activity of his/her family to involve in different income generating
activity. This finding is statistically significant at p<0.05.
From the households interviewed, 70 and 30% households were found to be users
and non-users of farm inputs. From those who use farm inputs, 30 and 40% were
found to be food insecure and secure households, respectively. On the other
hand, from non-users of farm input 12.9 and 17.1% was food insecure and secure,
respectively (Table 2).
The result revealed that 62.9 and 37.1% were users and non-users of credit
access. Among the food insecure households, 22.9 and 20% were found to be users
and non users of credit access and 40 and 17.1% of food secure households were
users and non users of credit access (Table 2).
Extent of food insecurity: Table 3 revealed the FGT
indices: Incidence of food insecurity, depth of food insecurity and severity
of food insecurity at α = 0, 1 and 2, respectively. The result of FGT model
indicated that 42.9% of households were living below minimum requirements per
day per adult equivalent. To know how far the households from minimum requirements
per day per adult equivalent, food insecurity depth was calculated.
|| Descriptive statistics of discrete variables
|***Significant p<0.05 and p<0.1, respectively
|| Extent of food insecurity
From the result, on average, 4.4% of households were far from recommended caloric
intake for active and healthy life. The severity of food insecurity is measured
as a weighted average of the square distance below minimum requirement. As the
survey result indicated, the severity of food insecurity is 0.4%.
Determinants of household food security: As it can be depicted in Table
4, Out of nine variables included in the model, four explanatory variables
were found to be significant. The possible explanations of the significant variables
are as follows.
Educational status of the household is positively related with household food
security and statistically significant at p<0.1 (Table 4)
which is consistent with the hypothesis. It is an important determinant of household
food security because an educated household is more sensitive to adopt technology
to maximize the output he/she generated from farm activities and this contributed
directly for household food security. The odd ratio in favor of food secure
is increased by 4.29 as the household is educated. This study is in line with
the previous studies (Devereux, 2001; Aschalew,
Family size is statistically significant at p<0.05 (Table
4) and exhibits a negative relationship with household food security similar
to the hypothesized effect. The possible explanation for this effect is that
most of the family members are inactive age group that has no contribution for
production rather than consumption. Large family size creates more pressure
on household food security because more food and non food expenditure is spent
for them increases. As family size increased by one, the odd ratio in favour
of food secure decreased by 0.57. This study is congruent with the previous
studies (Mitiku and Legesse, 2013; Ejigayhu,
2011; Bogale and Shimelis, 2009).
The result of the logistic regression model (Table 4) also
revealed that the coefficient of use of farm input is negative and statistically
significant at p<0.05 in contradict with the hypothesized effect. This implies
that farm input has negative effect on household food security. Farm inputs
are highly expensive in price. As a result, the farmers invest their income
for farm input by ignoring other expenditures and sold their crop produce to
purchase those farm inputs for his/her land when their cash income is not enough
to purchase farm inputs. The odds ratio in favour of being food secure decrease
by a factor of 0.15 as a farmer gets access to farm inputs. This study is contradicted
with previous studies (Arene and Anyaeji, 2010).
|| Result of logit model
|**,*Significant at p<0.05 and p<0.1, Source own survey
The coefficient of number of oxen owned by the household is positive and statistically
significant at p<0.1. Household food security and number of oxen owned is
positively related. The household who has oxen can generate income by cultivating
others land through rent and from his land. This contributes more for household
food security. The odd ratio in favour of being food secure is increased by
2.32 when the number of oxen is increased by one (Table 4).
This study is in line with the previous studies (Tesfaye,
2005; Mulugeta, 2002).
Coping strategy: The coping strategy in which food insecure households
followed were classified in to two stages for this study with three choices
for each. These are at the initial stage of food shortage and at the severe
stage of food shortage with first, second and third choice for each stage. The
survey result indicated that 63.3, 73.3 and 83.3% of food insecure households
practiced sale of livestock, borrow grains or cash from relative and reduce
size of meal as 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice at initial stage, respectively. Whereas,
53.3, 30 and 43.3% of the practiced escaping of meal ate less preferred food
and reduce size of meal at severe stage of food shortage as 1st ,2nd and 3rd
This finding concluded and recommended the following core idea related to the
issue of household food security based on the result obtained and reviewed document.
Family size was found to be negatively related with household food security.
The main case behind is that as family size increase the chance of obtaining
sufficient food decreases. Due to this reason, having more household size aggravate
the problem of obtaining adequate food for healthy and active life as a result,
the household head should use family planning service to limit their family
Education is an important variable for household food security because it is
found to be statistically significant and positively related with household
food security. Therefore ministry of education in collaborated with the Woreda
education office should provide adult learning programme for those illiterate
(54.3%) households which is already set as national adult learning program.
Use of farm input was found to be negatively related and statistically significant.
This means as the farmer gets access to farm input, he/she become food insecure.
This is due to the income generated from different source is invested for farm
input. Therefore, the farmer should allocate their income not only for farm
input but also for household consumption.
Number of oxen owned by the households and household food security were found
to be positively related and statistically significant. As a result, the farmers
should use their oxen for cultivation of crops to get the required yield from
crop cultivation and engaged in income generating activity through renting of
land from other farmers so as to be food secured.
We are grateful to farmers of the study area who made this study possible.
We acknowledge the staff of Department of Agricultural Economics, Jimma University
for facilitation render to us. We also like to forward our thanks to Development
Agents and Local administrators in the area for facilitation of the work. The
financial support from Jimma University, College of agriculture and Veterinary
Medicine which enabled us to conduct the study is greatly acknowledged.