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Assessment of food security among households in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: Evidence from General Household Survey, 2014

Ebenezer Toyin Megbowon (Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa)
Abbyssinia Mushunje (Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 8 January 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze food security status and its determinants among households in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on the General Household Survey which was conducted in 2014 where 3,033 households were sampled from the province. Specifically, this study examines the determinants of food security proxy by dietary diversity (24-hour recall) using descriptive statistics, Poisson regression. A frequency count of food groups consumed household dietary diversity score was used as the explained variable.

Findings

The descriptive analysis shows that, although 61.7 percent of households in the study area have a high dietary diversity score, however, food group giving micronutrients are less consumed as food groups having cereals (maize), beef, sugar and oil was mostly consumed. Results on the marginal effect of Poisson regression indicate that household head characteristics (age, gender, education, marital status, and employment status), pension receiving households and geographical location significantly influence household dietary diversity.

Originality/value

This study advocates for the intensification of rural development and food security programs, formal and informal education for household heads, female empowerment and dietary enlightenment for households in order to promote the consumption of diverse diets and more healthful food groups.

Keywords

Citation

Megbowon, E.T. and Mushunje, A. (2018), "Assessment of food security among households in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: Evidence from General Household Survey, 2014", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 45 No. 1, pp. 2-17. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-07-2016-0187

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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