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An Income-based Food Security Indicator for Agricultural Technology Impact Assessment

Food Security in an Uncertain World

ISBN: 978-1-78560-213-9, eISBN: 978-1-78560-212-2

Publication date: 16 December 2015



A food security indicator for technology impact assessment is needed that can be constructed with available data, is comparable over time and space, and represents the multiple dimensions of food security.


In this chapter, we review some commonly used food security indicators, analyze the extent to which these indicators satisfy key criteria, and introduce a food security indicator constructed for use in an economic impact assessment and that exhibits a number of desirable properties.


This income-based indicator is similar to a consumption-based poverty indicator, utilizing an estimate of the income required to purchase a food “basket” that meets nutritional requirements and comparing the food security income requirement to a household’s per capita income.

Social implications

The applicability of the indicator is illustrated with an analysis of the impacts of legume inoculation technology developed for smallholder farms in Tanzania and other parts of Africa. We conclude with a discussion of suggested improvements for food security indicators used for technology impact assessment.




This research was supported in part by a grant from the United Kingdom Agency for International Development. The material is based on work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, under award number 2011-68002-30191.


Antle, J., Adhikari, R. and Price, S. (2015), "An Income-based Food Security Indicator for Agricultural Technology Impact Assessment", Food Security in an Uncertain World (Frontiers of Economics and Globalization, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 81-96.



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