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Farm Households Food Production and Households’ Food Security Status: A Case of Kahama District, Tanzania

Anna M Ngongi
K Urassa


Food is an important basic human need for survival, growth, and good health. Most rural households in Tanzania, Kahama district inclusive produce the food they consume. Despite this reality, a number of households in the district suffer from food insecurity. However, there are inequalities across the districtfs ecological zones and administrative divisions. Therefore, the paper aims at determining how farming households in Kahama District cope with food insecurity. Specifically, the paper determines food security status based on Dietary Energy Consumed (DEC) per Adult Equivalent (AE) per day, identifies householdsf food insecurity coping strategies and examines factors influencing food production and supply. The paper uses data collected through a survey of 150 randomly selected farm households in Msalala and Isagehe divisions. In addition, some qualitative information on crop production, food security situation and householdsf food insecurity coping strategies was collected through focus group discussions (FDGs) conducted in the surveyed villages. Generally, observations based on the 24 hours recall and household income expenditure survey (HIES) indicate that food insecurity existed among households in the study areas based on the recommended average DEC/AE, of 2200 kcal and 2100 kcal respectively. Binary regression analysis results show that five predictors were significantly (P . 0.05) associated with surveyed householdsf food security/insecurity. Multiple regression analysis results further show that, total annual income, the amount of maize and paddy produced, household size, the number of plots owned, and the number of cattle owned significantly influenced the surveyed householdsf food production and supply. Observations further show that most households rely on less preferred foods as a food  insecurity copying strategy. The paper concludes that food insecurity existed among farming households in the study area. It is therefore recommended that, farming households adopt drought resistant food crops, diversify into off-farm income generating activities and that village extension officers (VEOfs) and community development officers (CDOfs ) play a more active role to enable households achieve food security.

Key Words: Farm household, production and food security

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print ISSN: 0856-664X