Determinants of Household Food Security in Drought Prone Areas of Ethiopia

  • Dawit Alemu Melkassa Agricultural Research Center (EIAR)
  • Mohammed Hassana Oromiya Agricultural Research Institute
  • Mulugeta Teferra INDAK International, Infrastructure Development and Knowledge Management International P.L.


This paper documents the determinants of household-level food security based on the data collected in 2003 from 954 randomly-selected households in major drought-prone areas of Ethiopia; namely from the West and East Haraghe zones of Oromiya and South Gonder zone of Amhara. The food security is assessed using the calorie intake, anthropometrical measures and based on household-declared perceptions about the food security situation. The Probit model for factors affecting the food security level and the Tobit model for factors affecting the incidence of food security were employed. Factors that significantly affected the food security level are agro-ecology, family size, number of crops grown, number of plots owned, access to drinking water, the wealth status of the household and the number of community-based organizations (CBOs) in the village. The incidence of food security was significantly affected by agro-ecology, number and types of crops grown, access to climatic information, proportion of household members with formal education, number of CBOs in the village and the adoption of soil conservation measures. The results confirm the important role of some of the development interventions of both government and non- governmental organizations (NGOs) to promote food security through formal education, soil and water conservation measures and production diversification. In addition, important factors that need to be considered are access to climatic information and strengthening the role of CBOs.

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