Examination of Socio-Economic Determinants of Household Food Insecurity in Juba Valley Region, Somalia
Ngare, Grace Wamue
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Despite much evidence showing that Somalia used to be food sufficient in the 1960s and 1970s, and there is every indication that it has the potential to be food secure, 70% of its households remain hungry in the 21st century. Studies on the subject have attributed this to decades of severe climate shocks and political instability. However, the underlying causes of food insecurity among households in Somalia are an under-researched topic. Thus, the broader objective of this study was to examine socio-economic determinants of household food insecurity in Juba Valley Region of Southern Somalia once regarded as the breadbasket of the country. Further, the influence of family structure and income dynamics of the households on food insecurity was investigated. The study employed interviews among households, key informant interviews, Focus Group Discussions, literature review as well as direct field observation methods to collect data. Determinants of Socioeconomic food insecurity in the area were analyzed using mixed regression methods. The gender of household head, age, and marital status (p-value < 0.05) contributed as the key to determine household structure variables. The study found that credit acquisition for food, main source of food, and seed shortage were significant variables (p-value < 0.05). The study concludes that the main socioeconomic factors that influence food insecurity among households are the gender of the household head, age, marital status, and households’ weak income base. Despite their importance, factors such as occupation, household size, and number of dependents, land size, river access, irrigation and seed type were not really significant according to the fitted model.