Household food security : a case study of Daque unit - Tete Province, Mozambique.
Ensuring household food security is a critical step towards achieving the basic needs of poor groups or communities. Information regarding a community's access to food and supply in Mozambique is based on rough estimates, since hard data are, in general, not available. The present research is the first attempt to evaluate the level of food security in Daque Unit, a rural area in Tete province, central Mozambique. Field work was conducted in two communities, Daque and Bungue, in which a number of household heads, local authorities, and key informants were interviewed. The interviews aimed at understanding the local people's views on problems, especially concerning natural resources management, agricultural production, consumption patterns, income generating activities, and health status with particular reference to children. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods were used for data collection and analysis. The results of this study indicate that there is poverty in the study area, which is exacerbated by high levels of unemployment, illiteracy, and poor living conditions. As far as food security and entitlement is concerned, both communities have the same problems that affect food production. Both communities depend mainly on subsistence agriculture, with limited financial resources, making them vulnerable to food insecurity. The study has shown that the nature of the land available to people, gender, and income status are the critical variables that influence food security in the area. Thus, the study recommends that government should put in place policies that can enable people, families and communities to break the unfortunate cycle of poverty. It recommends community participation in the planning process and use of local natural resources. Skills related to employment and income generation improve capacity for achieving household food security.
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