n Agrekon - Multidimensional household food security measurement in rural Zambia

Volume 55, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
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Food security is recognised as a multifaceted condition of complex causality, and given its broad definition, it is no surprise that food security eludes precise measurement. This study considers there to be three components of household food security (quantity, quality and stability), and attempts to address the "concept-to-measurement" gap in food security by building an index that spans these three dimensions. A panel data set from rural Zambia is used for descriptive analysis of food security indicators in 2001, 2004 and 2008. A multidimensional index of food security for rural Zambia is then developed using principal component analysis. We use this index to explore the spatial patterns of food security over time and to assess correlates of food security and impacts of climate shocks. Results indicate that both rainfall and temperature have a significant impact on a household's food security score, though not for each individual component of the index. The paper concludes with a discussion of the merits and shortcomings of developing a composite food security index.

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