Determinants of rural household 'pluriactivity' and its effect on food security: a case study of Savelugu-Nanton District of Northern Region of Ghana
AbstractOver the years, emphasis has been placed on agriculture through the development and diffusion of appropriate technologies. However, general increase in national food production does not necessarily ensure household and individual food security. In the economics literature, participation in pluriactivity has been found to improve household welfare. Participation in non-agricultural activities allows farmers living near subsistence levels to acquire cash to meet their basic needs in addition to that supplied by own production. In most rural Ghana particularly in the Northern Regions, food insecurity and poverty is high. The study examines factors that influence household members' participation in pluriactivity as well as the effect of pluriactivity on household food security. The household is food secured if it can satisfy its food needs without mortgaging standing field crops for current consumption. This study employs a cross-sectional data collectcd from a sample of 150 households from ten villages in Savelugu-Nanton district of Northern Region of Ghana. About 91 percent o f the sampled households participated in pluriactivity which contributed on the average, 60 percent of the total household income. The empirical analysis revealed that educational level, age, dependency ratio, animal wealth significantly had positive effect on the probability of husbands participation in pluriactiviy. Access to micro credit package, level of education, age, and household size had positive effect on wife's probability of being pluriactive while duration of harvested food crop, Number of out migrants, Dependency ratio had negative effect. The impact of household pluriactivity on food security was analyzed by employing probit analysis. The results indicate that husband's pluriactivity had significant positive effect on household food security while wife's pluriactivity showed an insignificant negative relationship with household food security. This implies that income from pluriactivity of some wives is not sufficient enough to supplement the husband's income in solving their food security problem hence they had to mortgage their standing field crop for current consumption needs. Duration of harvested food crop and animal wealth included in food security had significant positive effect on the household food security. It is therefore recommended that in as much as efforts are made in promoting alternative income sources, attention must be given to improve their primary activity being agriculture (both crop and animal production).
A thesis submitted to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 2008