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Mesfin Bezuneh, Zelealem Yiheyis, Pedro-Juan Del Rosario and Luis Ortiz

No 36971, 26th West Indies Agricultural Economics Conference, July 2006, San Juan, Puerto Rico from Caribbean Agro-Economic Society

Abstract: The concept of food insecurity at the household and individual levels has been an area of extensive research in the late 1980s by individual researchers and public agencies. This work culminated in the development of the US Food Security Survey Module (FSSM), which is now seem to be the standard methodology of determining household food’s security status, at least in countries with developed economies. One of the purposes of this study is to adapt the FSSM in the context of a less developed economy, and thereby assess the prevalence of food insecurity and hunger. The module was administered as a pilot in a household survey of 110 low-income families in the Dominican Republic. This study found that 93% of the respondent were food-insecure, some more so than others, and the percentage increasing as a higher degree of food deprivation was considered. A relatively small proportion of the food-insecure (20%) reported food insecurity without hunger. Households which experienced hunger—moderate and severe— represented 74% of the entire sample and 80% of the food-insecure group. Among those who were insecure with hunger, 59% faced severe hunger. Child hunger was reported by 89% of households with children. Only seven percent of the household were found to be food-secure, with no or minimal perception and experience of food hardship during the reference period. Finally, this Pilot Study may give us the opportunity to validate and modify the FSSM for assessing the degree of food insecurity in the Dominican Republic and in developing countries in general.

Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Food Security and Poverty; Health Economics and Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007-05
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.36971

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