Determinants of household dietary diversity in Yayu Biosphere Reserve, Southwest Ethiopia

  • Geremew Motuma Jebessa
  • Akalu Dafisa Sima
  • Beneberu Assefa Wondimagegnehu
Keywords: Household Dietary Diversity Ordered Logit, Yayu Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia


Lack of dietary diversity is a severe problem among the poor in the developing world, including Ethiopia. Empirical evidence for factors contributing to low dietary diversity hardly exists. The objective of this study was to analyze determinants of Household Dietary Diversity and consumption behavior in Yayu biosphere reserve, South-West Ethiopia. A cross sectional survey was conducted on 183 randomly selected households. Primary data were collected from sample households through interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Secondary data were collected by reviewing different documents. Descriptive statistics and econometric models were used for analyzing quantitative data. The ordered logit model was employed to determine the influence of explanatory variables on the dependent variable. The average household dietary diversity score was 5.5±1.7SD. About 17.5% of the sampled households belonged to low, 61.2% to medium and 21.3% to high dietary diversity. The age of the household head, education, income, access to irrigation, home gardening and dietary diversity awareness affected household dietary diversity positively and significantly and distance from market negatively. In conclusion, policy and development interventions should target education and awareness creation tools to provide households up to date nutritional knowledge and agricultural technologies to increase production and income, and thereby enhance household dietary diversity.


Abdulhalik Workicho, Tefera Belachew, Garuma Tolu, Beyene Wondafrash, Lachat, C., Verstraeten, R and Kolsteren, P. (2016). Household dietary diversity and animal source food consumption in Ethiopia: evidence from the 2011 Welfare Monitoring Survey. BioMed Central Public Health 16(1): 1192.

Admassu Tesso, Techane Gonfa and Gudrun, B.K. (2017). An Assessment of Household Dietary Diversity and Vegetable Consumption: Case Study of Smallholder Farmers in Yayu Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia. Tropentag 2017, September 20 - 22, Bonn, Germany

Ajah, A.I., Agera, S.I.N and Ejembi, S.E. (2013). Prospects of the contribution of home gardens to food security in our households: Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment 5(1): 23-27

Alemayehu Seyoum, Dorosh, P and Sinafikeh Asrat. (2012). Crop production in Ethiopia: regional patterns and trends. Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia: Progress and Policy Challenges 74: 53.

Arega Bekele. (2014). The role of productive safety nets in improving household food dietary diversity in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia: A case study on Lay Gayint District. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development 28(3):191-201.

Bamidele, F.S., Abayomi, O and Esther, O.A. (2010). Economic analysis of rice consumption patterns in Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology 12(1):1-11.

Bundala, N., Eleraky, L., Kinabo, J., Jumbe, T., Stuetz, W., Bonatti, M., Biesalski, H., Mutabazi, K., Sieber, S and Rybak, C. (2017). Knowledge, behavior and practices on dietary diversity of rural households in Dodoma and Morogoro, Tanzania.

Cabalda A.B., Rayco-Solon, P., Solon, J.A and Solon, F.S. (2011). Home gardening is associated with Filipino preschool children’s dietary diversity. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 111(5): 711-71.

Daniels. C.M. (2009). Dietary diversity as a measure of women’s diet quality in resource-poor areas: results from metropolitan Cebu, Philippines site. Washington: Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance II Project (FANTA-2).

Davidson, K.A and Kropp, J.D. (2017). Does market access improve dietary diversity? Evidence from Bangladesh. (No. 252854). Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

Degye Goshu, Belay Kassa and Mengistu Ketema. (2013). Measuring diet quantity and quality dimensions of food security in rural Ethiopia. Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics 5(5): 174-185.

Dillon A., McGee, K and Oseni, G. (2015). Agricultural production, dietary diversity, and climate variability. The Journal of Development Studies 51(8): 976-995.

EDHS (Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey). (2011). Central Statistical Agency, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and ICF International Calverton, Maryland, USA.

FAO, WFP and IFAD. (2012): The state of food insecurity in the world: Economic growth is necessary but not sufficient to accelerate reduction of hunger and malnutrition. FAO, Rome.

FAO. (2008) Developing food-based dietary guidelines: a manual from the English-speaking Caribbean, Rome 1-85.

FAO. (2013). WFP the state of food insecurity in the world 2013 the multiple dimensions of food security. FAO, Rome.

FDRE. (2013). Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia National Nutrition Program 2008-2015.

FMoH/UNICEF/EU. (2016). Situation analysis of the nutrition sector in Ethiopia: 2000-2015. Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, UNICEF and European Commission Delegation: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Fuller, F.H., Beghin, J.C and Rozelle, S. (2004). Urban Demand for Dairy Products in China: Evidence from New Survey Data.

Galhena, D.H., Freed, R and Maredia K.M. (2013). Home gardens: A promising approach to enhance household food security and wellbeing. Agriculture & Food Security 2(1): 8.

Getnet Mekuria, Yalewsew Wubneh and Tilahun Tewabe. (2017). Household dietary diversity and associated factors among residents of Finote Selam town, North West Ethiopia: a cross sectional study. BioMed Central Nutrition 3(1): 28.

Grace, D. (2016). Influencing food environment for healthy diets through food safety. FAO.

Green, W.H. (2008). Econometric Analysis, sixth Edition. Upper Saddle River, Prentice hall, Inc., New Jersey.

Gujarati, N. (1995). Basic Econometrics, 3rd Edition, McGraw Hill Book Company, New York.

Hamilton, L.C., 2006. Statistics with STATA: Updated for version 9. Duxbury, an imprint of Thomson Brooks. Cole, a part of The Thompson Corporation.

Headey, D and Ecker, O. (2012). Rethinking the measurement of food security: From first principles to best practice. Food Security 5(3): 327-343.

Herrador, Z., Perez-Formigo, J., Sordo, L., Gadisa, E., Moreno, J., Benito, A., Assefa, A and Custodio, E., (2015). Low dietary diversity and intake of animal source foods among school aged children in Libo Kemkem and Fogera Districts, Ethiopia. PloS one 10(7): 0133435.

Hirvonen, K and Hoddinott, J. (2017). Agricultural production and children's diets: evidence from rural Ethiopia. Agricultural Economics 48(4): 469-480.

IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute). (2015). Market access, welfare, and nutrition: Evidence from Ethiopia. Working Paper 77.

IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute). (2018). Food system for health diets in Ethiopia: Discussion paper 1720.

Jones, A.D., Shrinivas, A and Bezner-Kerr, R. (2014. Farm production diversity is associated with greater household dietary diversity in Malawi: findings from nationally representative data. Food Policy 46: 1-12.

Keding, G.B., Msuya, J.M., Maass, B.L and Krawinkel, M.B., 2012. Relating dietary diversity and food variety scores to vegetable production and socio-economic status of women in rural Tanzania. Food Security 4(1): 129-140.

Kennedy, G.L., Pedro, M.R., Seghieri, C., Nantel, G and Brouwer, I. (2007). Dietary diversity score is a useful indicator of micronutrient intake in non-breast-feeding Filipino children. The Journal of Nutrition 137(2): 472-477.

Kibrom Sibhatu, Krishna, V and Qaim, M. (2015). Production diversity and dietary diversity in smallholder farm households. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(34): 10657-10662.

Koppmair, S., Kassie, M and Qaim, M. (2017). Farm production, market access and dietary diversity in Malawi. Public Health Nutrition 20(2): 325-335.

Labadarios, D., Steyn, N.P and Nel, J. (2011). How diverse is the diet of adult South Africans? Nutrition Journal 10(1): 33.

Linderhof, V., Powell, J., Vignes, R and Ruben, R. (2016). The influence of household farming systems on dietary diversity and caloric intake: the case of Uganda (No. 310-2016-5392). Paper presented at the 5th conference of the African Association of Agricultural Economist, 23-26 September 2016, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).

Maddala, G.S. (1992). Limited Dependent and Quantitative Variables in Econometrics. Cambridge University Press.

Mbwana, H.A., Kinabo, J., Lambert, C and Biesalski, H.K. (2016) Determinants of household dietarypractices in rural Tanzania: Implications for nutritioninterventions, Cogent Food & Agriculture 2(1): 1224046.

Megersa Bekele, Markemann, A., Ayana Angassa, Zárate, A.V. (2014). The role of livestock diversification in ensuring household food security under a changing climate in Borana, Ethiopia. Food Security 6(1): 15-28.

Mkemwa, T.H. (2015). Eating behaviors and dietary diversity among adults in Morogoro urban, Rural and Mvomero districts (Sokoine University of Agriculture).

Moyo, T and Machethe, C.L. (2016). The relationship between smallholder irrigation and household food availability and dietary diversity in Greater Tzaneen Municipality of Limpopo Province. Journal of Sustainable Development 9(4): 165.

Nguyen, P.H., Avula, R., Ruel, M.T., Saha, K.K., Ali, D., Tran, L.M., Frongillo, E.A., Menon, P and Rawat, R. (2013). Maternal and child dietary diversity are associated in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Ethiopia. Journal of Nutrition 143(7): 1176-1183.

Nsele, N. (2014). The effect of seasonal food variety and dietary diversity on the nutritional status of a rural community in Kwa Zulu-Natal. Doctoral Dissertation, Durban University of Technology, South Africa.

Ochieng, J., Afari-Sefa, V., Lukumay, P.J and Dubois, T. (2017). Determinants of dietary diversity and the potential role of men in improving household nutrition in Tanzania. PloS one 12(12): 0189022.

Powell, B., Kerr, R.B., Young, S.L and Johns, T. (2017). The determinants of dietary diversity and nutrition: ethno nutrition knowledge of local people in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 13(1): 23.

Rashid, D.A., Smith, L.C and Rahman, T. (2011). Determinants of dietary quality: evidence from Bangladesh. World Development, 39(12): 2221-2231.

Romeo, A., Meerman, J., Demeke, M., Scognamillo, A and Asfaw, S. (2016). Linking farm diversification to household diet diversification: evidence from a sample of Kenyan ultra-poor farmers. Food Security 8(6): 1069-1085.

Ruel, M.T., Harris, J and Cunningham, K. (2013). Diet quality in developing countries. In: Diet quality (239-261). Humana Press, New York, NY.

Schwei, R.J., Tesfay, H., Asfaw, F., Jogo, W and Busse, H. (2017). Household dietary diversity, vitamin A consumption and food security in rural Tigray, Ethiopia. Public Health Nutrition 20(9): 1540-1547.

Smith, L., Alderman, H and Aduayom, D. (2006). Food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa: New estimates from household expenditure surveys (International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC).

Steyn, NP., Nel, JH., Nantel, G., Kennedy, G and Labadarios, D. (2006). Food variety and dietary diversity scores in children: are they good indicators of dietary adequacy? Public Health Nutrition 9(5): 644-650.

Stifel, D and Minten, B. (2017). Market access, well-being, and nutrition: evidence from Ethiopia. World Development 90:.229-241.

Tadesse Kuma, Mekidem Dereje and Minten, B. (2016). Coffee income, food security and diet diversity of smallholder coffee growers in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Development Research Institute working paper 15. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Taruvinga, A., Muchenje, V and Mushunje, A. (2013). Determinants of rural household dietary diversity: The case of Amatole and Nyandeni districts, South Africa. International Journal of Development and Sustainability 2(4): 2233-2247.

Thompson, B and Meerman, J. (2014). Towards long-term nutrition security: The role of agriculture in dietary diversity. Improving Diets and Nutrition, p.246. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and CABI Rome, FAO and Wallingford, UK, CABI.

Tizita Damtew. (2017). The Effect of Small-scale Irrigation on Household Food Security in Bona Zuria Woreda, Sidama zone, Southern Ethiopia. Doctoral dissertation Hawassa University.

Vakili, M., Abedi, P., Sharifi, M and Hosseini, M. (2013). Dietary diversity and its related factors among adolescents: a survey. Ahvaz-Iran Global Journal of Health Science 5(2): 181.

Zarihun Kebebew, Wayessa Garedew and Adugna Debela. (2011). Understanding home garden in household food security strategy: Case study around Jimma, southwestern Ethiopia. Research Journal and Applied Science 6(1): 38-43.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2312-6019
print ISSN: 1816-3378