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Household composition and experiences of food insecurity in Nigeria: the role of social capital, education, and time use

Esther O. Lamidi ()
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Esther O. Lamidi: University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, 2019, vol. 11, issue 1, 201-218

Abstract: Abstract The relationship between family structure and economic wellbeing has been widely documented. However, recent demographic shifts necessitate further exploration of the interrelationships between household composition and socioeconomic resources in relation to food insecurity. The Nigerian General Household Survey data was used to analyze three mechanisms - social capital, education and time use - by which the number of children and the presence of a disabled older adult in the household related to household food insecurity. A significantly higher risk of severe food insecurity occurred among households with children and those with a disabled elderly person. Financial support from friends, relatives, and moneylenders was associated with higher, rather than lower, risks of food insecurity. Time spent collecting cooking fuel significantly modified the relationship between number of children and food insecurity. The greater the time spent fetching cooking fuel, the smaller the gap in food security status between households with no children and those having children. These findings call for interventions aimed at combating poverty and hunger, targeting specifically households with children and those with elderly disabled persons. Further, they show the importance of reducing the amount of time it takes for households to access fuel for cooking. Also, addressing the unmet need for contraception in Nigeria may help to reduce the rate of unplanned childbearing, thereby improving household food security.

Keywords: Food insecurity; Household composition; Children; Older adults; Disabilities; Cooking fuel (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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