Climate Induced Food Insecurity, Coping Strategies and Practices Among Small Holder Farmers in Southern Ethiopia
Household level food shortage is one of the most important effects of population growth and population dynamics affecting multidimensional social and economic lives of household members. Close examination and analysis of household food security and its responses is very important not only from the economic point of view but also because of its high correlation with other development concerns. This study is aimed at characterizing the basic demographic, economic and social determinants of climate induced household food insecurity and the corresponding responses among selected communities in Southern Ethiopia (Boricha Woreda and Sidama Zones). Using a comprehensive questionnaire, data were collected from 614 households (where both husband and wife were interviewed), selected through the multistage stratified sampling technique. The relative contribution or the net effect of each independent variable to the dependent variable (household food security status), controlling all confounding factors, was examined using the multivariate analysis. The findings of the multivariate analysis using logistic regression technique revealed that some demographic and socio-economic variables have associations with household food security. The result also revealed that households in the study area employ a range of coping mechanisms in order to respond to food insecurity. Some of the responses included out-migration of household members, diversification of income, multiple cropping, involvement in local/indigenous social institutions. Finally promotion of diversification, encouragement and strengthening of local social institutions, as well as environmental and land management were recommended.
Keywords: Climate change, food insecurity, smallholder farmers, Southern Ethiopia