Does Climate Shock Aggravate Household Food Insecurity in Rural Ethiopia? Evidences from Panel Data Estimation

Abebayehu Girma Geffersa Guush Berhane


Ethiopian rural households are vulnerable to various climate shocks that affect agricultural production and thereby the household food security. Rural households frequently experience drought which may adversely affect food security and livelihood of rural households in the country. Thus, assessing the past challenges on food security due to climate shocks may have paramount importance in reducing the future vulnerability by providing appropriate measures towards mitigation and adaptation of future climate shocks. Using a longitudinal household dataset drawn from the Ethiopia Rural Household Survey, this study examines the effect of climate shocks on the Ethiopian rural households’ food security. By employing a fixed effects econometric analysis technique, climate shock is found to be negatively and significantly associated with food security over time. A negative climate shock variable implies that, households vulnerable to drought tends to be more food insecure than their counterparts. It has also been found that a household food security is hugely determined by the household’s resource endowment. Among the variables representing human capital endowments, large family size is found to be negatively associated with household food security. Among the basic physical resource endowments, land and livestock play a vital role in determining the household food security in rural Ethiopia. Moreover, our study identified that, credit use is an important financial capital influencing household food security in the study area. Overall, our principal result is that unfavorable climatic conditions combined with lack of necessary households’ resource endowments; adversely affect the rural household food security in Ethiopia. Given the vital role the households resource endowments have in reducing food insecurity, the findings suggest that policies that can contribute to the improvement of households’ resource endowments should not be undermined.

Keywords: Climate shock, Drought, Ethiopia, Food security, Resource Endowments

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