African Journal of Agriculture and Food Security

African Journal of Agriculture and Food Security ISSN: 2375-1177 Vol. 5 (1), pp. 167-175, January, 2017. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Using a multinomial approach to assess vulnerability of rural households to food price shocks in Cape West Coast, South Africa

1Ephias M. Makaudze*, 2Christian Haussner and 3Tobias Takavarasha

19 Broodboom Street, Rouxville, Kuilsriver 7580, Cape Town, South Africa,

2Development Alternatives Inc.; Thamesfield House, Boundary Way, Hertfordshire, HP2 7SR, United Kingdom,

3Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); P.O. Box 13782, Pretoria, South Africa.


Received 21 October, 2016; Revised 27 November, 2016; Accepted 01 December, 2016 and Published 26 January, 2017


This paper draws on the experience of food price shocks (among other factors) that rocked South Africa during the global financial crisis (2007-08). A post-shock assessment of this nature is insightful given the recurring economic shocks that frequently affect South Africa. The paper is based on a survey of 640 rural households sampled in three municipal districts of Matzikama, Cederberg and Bergriver, in Cape West Coast. A multinomial approach is used to estimate the probability scores underlying vulnerability of different types of rural households to a set of identified economic shocks, including food price hikes. Results show farm-workers/labourers and non-land-reform farmers being the most vulnerable livelihood categories as implied by high probability scores relative to other types. Their vulnerability condition is worsened as a majority of the affected households lack credible mechanisms to cope with the recurring shocks. The paper concludes presenting an array of policy suggestions considered vital for dealing with food price shocks especially during period of inflationary crisis. Key amongst these include, the need to implement regular monitoring and evaluation systems for effective support of the most vulnerable households during turbulent periods and improving databases and registers at district and provincial level.   

Keywords: Food price hikes, economic shocks, vulnerability, rural livelihoods, multinomial, post-shock assessment.