Coping Strategies As A Food Insecurity Indicator In Rural White Nile. Sudan

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Tarig Eltayeb Hamza Ahmed
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University of khartoum
This study aimed at identifying and using coping strategies adopted by food insecure households in rural areas as a food insecurity indicator. Coping strategies as used here refer to short-term means of dealing with food insufficiency within the current entitlements of the household or relevant consumption unit. The emphasis has been on changes in diet, and changes in distribution and consumption within the household. Primary data was collected using structured questionnaire. A sample of 100 households was selected using the simple random sampling technique. Secondary data was collected from official records, reports and references (books and magazines) related to food security in government institutions, FAO, NGOs and from internet. The average number of members per household was about 8 persons. The average holding size (which is found to be 4.18 feddans per household) and is generally smaller than the level necessary to adequately feed them. The average income per individual per day was found below the poverty line ($1/Day). These results indicated that all members of the households are vulnerable to food shocks or deficits. Regarding household coping mechanisms the questionnaire has been carried out twice one during the rainy season and the other in the dry one presuming that the use of such mechanisms may differ according to season. The respondents have been divided into five groups according to their monthly income ranging from very low income group to high income group. A coping strategies index (CSI) was computed for each income group in every round. The results reveals that as the income level increases the frequency and severity of coping mechanisms decreases indicating decreasing food insecurity situation in both rounds. In general the CSI was greater in the first round than in the second one indicating that the food security is bad in the rainy season than in the dry season. According to the method of calculating the CSI it equals 11 for the fully food secure households and 44 for the famine affected households any score between these two figures means that the food security position is getting worse. The CSI was found to be 24.3 for all groups in the rainy season and 17.38 in the dry season. The study recommends that the government and the donor community should strengthen the coping strategies of the rural households and communities i.e. assistance in term of food, seeds, hand tools, medicines, etc. is required to cope with disaster.
87 Pages
Food;Food Security;Coping Strategies Index;Food Security Definitions;Transitory Food Insecurity;Economic Activity;Skipping Meals
University of khartoum