Intranational variations in the key determinants of food security
AdvisorHutchinson, Charles F.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFood Security is defined as the condition in which an assured, sustainable supply of enough nutritionally proper food is available for people to lead healthy, productive lives. The condition in which any of these requirements is missing is known as "Food Insecurity." In this paradigm, absolute food security as enjoyed by most people in the United States is at one end of the food security continuum and Famine is at the other; different levels of food insecurity make up the rest. The above definitions mandate that any analysis of why regions or populations are vulnerable to different levels of food insecurity must consider more than just the availability of food. The "Indicator Approach" to these analyses is based on the collection and analysis of diverse types of data, from multiple sources, which address socioeconomic, agroecological, demographic, environmental, agricultural and political factors in order to come to a more comprehensive understanding of food security conditions and their underlying causes in the areas studied. The hypotheses of this research are (1) That some of these "indicators" are correlated to measures or proxies for vulnerability and food insecurity at statistically meaningful levels, and (2) That the indicators so related will, in general, vary at the subnational level. The data set for this research consists of about 70 indicator and outcome parameters from different aspects of life in the Republic of Malawi, in Southern Africa. The analysis was performed through the following sequence of steps: (1) Definition of four national level proxies for Vulnerability and Food Insecurity, (2) Decomposition of Malawi's 154 EPAs into six non-overlapping EPA clusters, and (3) Independent analysis of each EPA cluster and the nation for each proxy variable with three analytic approaches (Bivariate Correlation, Regression Trees, and Multiple Linear Regression). The results of these 84 separate "mini-analyses" confirmed the research hypotheses and led to other conclusions about vulnerability assessments in general, and conditions in Malawi in particular. These results independently confirm that very small landholdings, female heads of household, and the lack of adequate employment opportunities are among the primary correlates of vulnerability and food insecurity in Malawi.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Arid Lands Resource Sciences