Household factors influencing food security status in Bulawayn village, Bardera district, Gedo region of Somalia
The specific research problem addressed in this study is that despite an increased amount of dollars being donated to Somalia for humanitarian assistance, the food security status of the households remains grim and there has been no effort to carry out empirical formative research on actual causes of food insecurity within the households that would inform the design and implementation of these humanitarian interventions. The main objective of this study is to examine the household factors influencing food security status in Bulawayn village using a logistic regression procedure. The household characteristics are defined by the socio-demographic, property ownership and income characteristics while the household food security status will be defined by the household hunger scale. The logit model was fit with eight (8) explanatory variables which were identified to be major determinants of food security in this study. These include gender of household head, age of household head, size of the household, education level of the household head, size of land owned by the household, number of livestock owned by the household, household income levels and number of people engaged in gainful income generating activity in the household. The household sample size for the study has been computed using the Cochran formula and a sample of 246 households coming from rainfed agro-pastoral, riverine agro-pastoral, employed urban residents and business community were identified using a two stage sampling procedure. A structured questionnaire was used for the data collection with the help of enumerators. The findings of the study revealed that 63% of the households are food secure whereas 37% are food insecure. Recurrent drought and insecurity have been the main drivers and causes of food insecurity within the study area, exacerbating the food security status of the resource-poor agro pastoral households. Solutions to food insecurity must include analysing and elimination of poverty at household level. Using a logistic regression model, this study found that the socio-demographic characteristics that have a significant influence on household food security were: size of the household and education attainment of the head of the household. Gender and age of the head of household were found not to be significant pointers of household food security status in Bulawayn village. The study further found that the household income characteristics that have a significant influence on food security are: household income and number of people employed in the household. Land and livestock ownership of the household, as property ownership characteristics were also found to have a significant influence on the households food security. This study found that most food insecure households are the agro pastoralists. It is therefore recommended that promotion of sustainable agriculture and biodiversity among the agro-pastoralists should be a priority. This should be aimed at improving on crops and livestock production levels within the households. This may include promotion of use of drought tolerant seed varieties, use of inputs such as improved seeds, fertilizers, manure, pesticides and intensive irrigation. A further research should be undertaken to understand the agricultural practices undertaken by the agro pastoralists and why are the most food insecure household are within this livelihood zone, irrespective of the fact that they are the food producers.