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Household food security and its determinants in agrarian communities of southeastern Nigeria

Thecla Iheoma Akukwe


The study investigated household food security (food accessibility) and its determinants in eight agrarian communities of Southeastern Nigeria where food accessibility was measured using per capita monthly food expenditure, and households were classified into food secure and food insecure. Four hundred (400) households were selected using stratified and random sampling methods. The results revealed that the categorization of households into either food secure or food insecure was a function of money spent on food monthly and household size, making household food security status differ within and across households and communities. The general findings revealed that majority (53.5%) of households were food insecure while 46.5% were food secure. Oguta community was revealed as the most food secure because majority of her households (68%) recorded relatively high per capita monthly food expenditure coupled with small household sizes while the reverse is the case with Ossomala community where 67.2% of households were food insecure. The Logistic regression analysis run to show the relationship between food security status and 23 predictors drawn from literature and observation, showed that only five were significant (p < 0.05) namely (with their coefficients) marital status (−0.347), level of education (0.540), monthly income (1.719), dependency ratio (−3.385) and distance to market (−0.880). The direction of their regression coefficients revealed that households headed by unmarried persons with higher level of education and monthly income as well as with fewer dependants were more food secure, and food security decreased with increasing distance to market in Southeastern Nigeria.

Keywords: food secure, food accessibility, agrarian, food expenditure, food insecure