specialty journal of agricultural sciences
Severity of Food Insecurity among Female-headed Households in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria
Nwaogwugwu O. N., Uwadiae O.R.
This study assessed the severity of food insecurity among female-headed households in Oredo local government area of Edo State. The objectives of the study were to describe the socio-economic characteristics of female-headed households, identify the causes of food insecurity among female-headed household, ascertain food accessibility among female-headed households and determine the severity of food insecurity among female-headed households in the study area. Total sample size of 100 respondents was randomly selected from 5 communities selected out of 33 communities that make up Oredo local government. This involved a simple random selection of 20 respondents from each village. The instrument used to obtain data from the respondent was a structured questionnaire validated by the researchers. Data were analyzed using mean, frequency and percentages. The result revealed that, high cost of food items (mean = 3.75), inadequate funds for food purchase (mean = 3.71), pests and diseases of field crops, livestock and other agricultural produce (mean = 3.62) are the major causes of food insecurity in the study area. Though food accessibility indicated that 51.60% of female-headed households in the study area eat less preferred food, 50.60% eat just a few kinds of food while 46.50% reduces quantity of food eaten by all household members; however, majority of the households (62.67%) were found to be moderately food insecure. Therefore it is recommended that Government in Nigeria through its agricultural support agencies should embark on target-oriented supply of improved agricultural inputs/incentives to women small-scale farmers on a sustainable basis to enhance food production at the household level.