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Exploring Food Security and Household Dietary Diversity in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Priviledge Cheteni (), Yohane Khamfula () and Gisele Mah ()
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Yohane Khamfula: School of Economic and Decision Sciences, North West University, Mafikeng 2790, South Africa
Gisele Mah: School of Economic and Decision Sciences, North West University, Mafikeng 2790, South Africa

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 5, 1-16

Abstract: Food security is one of the most severe challenges facing the majority of African countries. The objective of this study was to explore household food dietary diversity and food security in a rural area in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. A total of 296 household heads were randomly sampled to participate in the study. The Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) and Household Food Consumption Score (HFCS) were used to identify the consumption patterns of the households and their food security status. Meanwhile, a binary model was used to identify the variables that had an impact on household food security. Findings from the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) revealed that 61 percent of the households had lower dietary diversity and were consuming at least three food groups, which mainly include pulses, milk, and cereals. The results from the Household Food Consumption Score (HFCS), however, showed that the majority of the households had adequate levels of food consumption. The binary model revealed that age, household income, access to credit, and gender are statistically significant in influencing household food security status in the study area. It can be concluded that household dietary diversity is not guaranteed by food security, as proven by the regression model. Therefore, the government should consider the impact of low income on food security and it should intensify efforts directed at helping rural households to reduce incidences of food insecurity.

Keywords: binary model; Food Consumption Score; Household Dietary Score; rural households (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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