African Journal of Agriculture and Food Security

African Journal of Agriculture and Food Security Vol. 1 (4), pp. 082-092, October, 2013. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Measuring diet quantity and quality dimensions of food security in rural Ethiopia

Degye Goshu*, Belay Kassa and Mengistu Ketema

School of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Haramaya University, P.O. Box: 05, Haramaya University, Ethiopia.

*Corresponding author. E-mail: degyeabgos@yahoo.com. Tel: 251 (0)911057147.

Accepted 04 March, 2013

Abstract

Food insecurity is an overriding problem of most developing countries like Ethiopia, which requires empirical evidence pertinent to food security policy formulation and implementation. This paper investigates food security situation of households by surveying 260 farm households randomly and proportionately sampled from the major farming systems in Ethiopia. Households’ daily calorie availability and dietary diversity were measured to capture the diet quantity and quality dimensions of food security of households. A seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) model results of the two measures suggested that the mean daily calorie intake per adult equivalent and dietary diversity level of households were about 1871 kcal and 6.8, respectively, with significant differences in farming systems and household idiosyncratic characteristics. The univariate probit model results show that the likelihood of households to be food security was 42.3%, while their probability to have semi-diversified diet was 37.2%. However, food security status and dietary diversity status were weakly interdependent and their determinant factors were significantly different. The major contribution of this paper is that it employs econometric estimation of dietary diversity scores and status and measures their interactions with diet quantity scales and food security status at household level.

Key words: Food security, dietary diversity, seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) model, bivariate probit.