Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture

Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture No. 4/08

Measuring rural household food security and its determinants in Assosa district of the Benishangul Gumuz region, Ethiopia

Yilma Muluken
Benishangul Gumuz Bureau of Agriculture, Assosa, Ethiopia

Ayalneh Bogale
Haramaya University, Ethiopia

Workneh Negatu
Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia


Transitory and chronic food insecurity are severe in Ethiopia with the lowest average calorie intake in Africa – 1,845 kcal per person per day. Cognizant of this fact, this paper assesses severity of food insecurity and its determinants in Assosa district. For this purpose descriptive statistics, Core Food Security Module, binary logit, and ordered logit models were specified and estimated to identify variables which determine household food insecurity status. Based on the analysis of data collected from 140 randomly selected households, it was found that 20.7%, 45%, 26.4% and 7.9% of respondents were food secure, food insecure without hunger, food insecure with moderate hunger and food insecure with severe hunger, respectively. The outputs of ordered logit model were found to be stronger in identifying variables with most predictive power than the binary logit model. The paper concludes with some suggestions on how to proceed in the future to be able to successfully address the challenges of food insecurity.

Keywords: core food security module, Rasch, logit, food security, BIGSTEPS software

JEL: C25, D13, I32

Vol. 47 (2008), No. 4: 307-325