Assessment of Household Food Security and Coping Strategies in Wolaita Zone: The Case of Sodo Zuria Woreda

Almaz Balta, Ayele Tessema, Debebe H/Wold


This study attempts to assess household food security and local coping strategies of rural farm households in Sodo Zuria Woreda, Wolaita Zone. Data were collected from 150 sample farm households from six peasant administration (PAs) using systematic random sampling techniques. Primary data were collected by conducting a household survey. In addition, focus group discussions and key informant interviews were used. Secondary data were collected from various sources. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean, minimum and maximum, standard deviation, percentage and frequency distribution.   Moreover, T-test and chi-square tests were used to describe characteristic of food secure and insecure households. In general Sodo Zuria Woreda, suffer from chronic food insecurity.  From the total sample households about 72 % are food insecure while the rest 28% are food secure. More than 80% of the respondents face serious food shortage for six to eight months a year. The result revealed   that factors associated with size of farm land, number of livestock and draught oxen, off-farm and non-farm incomes,   dependency ratio, educational level of household head, and uses of agricultural inputs are significantly related to household food security. Copings strategies including reducing size and number of meals, borrowing grains or cash from relatives and friends, engaging in daily labor, sale of livestock and  household  equipment,  begging,  withdrawing  children  from  school  and  seasonal migration were found to be common practices prevailed in the region. Thus, Distribution of moisture  stress  tolerant  crop  varieties  and  improved  technologies  that  increase  the productivity of land and livestock should be given higher priority to enhance sustainable food security in the region.  It is also crucial to promote intensive agriculture   and non-farm activities, as well as strengthening credit institutions   to boost agricultural production and income, and thereby attain   improved   food security.

Keywords: Food security, food insecurity, livelihood, coping mechanism

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