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Intensity of Household Food Insecurity and Its Coping Mechanisms in Zala District, Gofa Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Lakamo Liben, Abiyot Eliyas Anbacha


Despite efforts made so far, food insecurity is a critical challenge in Ethiopia. Still, large numbers of people are suffering from chronic food shortage. This study was conducted in Zala district, Gofa Zone, Southern Ethiopia to investigate household food insecurity status, its determinants and coping mechanisms at household level. A three-stage sampling technique was used to select the study district, kebeles, and sample respondents. The quantitative data was collected from 183 households through household survey questionnaire and the qualitative data from 9 Key Informants and 4 Focus Group Discussions. The collected quantitative data was analyzed using mean, percentage, standard deviation and ordinal logistic regression model, while qualitative data’s were analyzed qualitatively. According to the result, about 73% of the households are under food shortage. Household food insecurity is negatively correlated with education level, cultivated land size, livestock holding, and frequency of contact with Development Agents, and sale of crops early-harvest. Besides, membership in farmers’ cooperatives, credit availability, and distance to market contribute positively and significantly to household food insecurity status. In order to cope with the food shortage, the people in the study area mainly designed different mechanisms such as reducing the amount and frequency of food intake, changing to less preferable foods, borrowing food and cash and sell of livestock and other key assets which erode productive assets. Thus, well understanding household food insecurity status, factors affecting the status and its local coping mechanism is vital for designing appropriate interventions that reduce the root causes of food shortages.


Coping mechanisms; Determinants; Gofa, HFIAS, HFIAP index, intensity, ordinal logistic regressionmodel,prevalence,Zala

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