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Household Income Diversification and Food Security: Evidence from Rural and Semi-Urban Areas in Ethiopia

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  • Bekele Gebisa Etea

    () (College of Economics and Management, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, China)

  • Deyi Zhou

    () (College of Economics and Management, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, China)

  • Kidane Assefa Abebe

    () (College of Economics and Management, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, China)

  • Dessalegn Anshiso Sedebo

    () (College of Economics and Management, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, China)

Abstract

Reducing food insecurity remains a major public policy challenge in developing countries. Food insecurity becomes severe in areas where households highly depend on undiversified livelihoods. However, studies linking household income diversification to food security are limited. This study, therefore, examined the effect of income diversification on food security in the Ambo district, Ethiopia. A survey of rural (n = 175) and semi-urban (n = 175) households was conducted. The Simpson’s index of diversity (SID) was used to measure the level of household income diversity. Food security (access) was measured using the daily calorie consumption (nutrition-based) and the household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS) (experience-based) methods. Consequently, we used binary logistic regression and ordinary least squares (OLS) estimation methods to determine the effect of household income diversity on food security. The instrumental variable (IV) method was also employed to overcome an endogeneity bias. The results revealed that the level of household income diversification was low, and the majority of households were food insecure. The binary logistic and the second-stage least square (2SLS) regression results suggested that income diversification contributes significantly and positively to food security in the study areas. Therefore, we conclude that income diversification reduces food insecurity by enhancing households’ access to food.

Suggested Citation

  • Bekele Gebisa Etea & Deyi Zhou & Kidane Assefa Abebe & Dessalegn Anshiso Sedebo, 2019. "Household Income Diversification and Food Security: Evidence from Rural and Semi-Urban Areas in Ethiopia," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(12), pages 1-16, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:12:p:3232-:d:239024
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Babatunde, Raphael O. & Qaim, Matin, 2010. "Impact of off-farm income on food security and nutrition in Nigeria," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 303-311, August.
    2. Maurice Mutisya & Moses W. Ngware & Caroline W. Kabiru & Ngianga-bakwin Kandala, 2016. "The effect of education on household food security in two informal urban settlements in Kenya: a longitudinal analysis," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(4), pages 743-756, August.
    3. Broussard, Nzinga H. & Tandon, Sharad, 2016. "Food Insecurity Measures: Experience-Based Versus Nutrition-Based Evidence From India, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia," Economic Research Report 262189, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Michler, Jeffrey D. & Josephson, Anna L., 2017. "To Specialize or Diversify: Agricultural Diversity and Poverty Dynamics in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 214-226.
    5. Babatunde, Raphael O. & Qaim, Matin, 2010. "Impact of Off-farm Income on Food Security and Nutrition in Nigeria," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 97332, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    income diversification; food security; rural; semi-urban; Ambo district; Ethiopia;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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