Rural Household Food Security in Uganda: An Empirical Analysis

  • Godfrey BA Bahiigwa


Uganda does experience food shortages from time to time in different parts of the country. This study presents findings of research on rural household food security. The main objective of the study was to assess the food security status of rural households, and identify the key determinants of food security or food insecurity. An indirect objective was to determine whether the interventions in the government's Plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA) are addressing the constraints identified by households. The study based on a sample of 1200 rural households, reveals that poor rains or excessive rains and crop pests and diseases are the main causes of food shortages among households. Logistic regressions reveal that the probability that a household will be food secure is dependent upon the fertility of its land, good distribution and intensity of rainfall, planting improved seed, having adequate labor, and having neighbors that are food secure. On the other hand, large numbers of non-productive dependants, inadequate rains, and long distances to the market decrease the probability that a household will be food secure. Government policies and interventions under the PMA are enhancing the positive determinants of food security, however they fall short on the key feature: production shortfalls due to rainfall fluctuations.

Key words: food security; logit model, coping strategies, gender

Eastern Africa Journal of Rural Development (2002) 18, 8-23

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eISSN: 0377-7103