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Reference: Devereux, Stephen, (1993). Household responses to food insecurity in northeastern Ghana. DPhil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:

 

Household responses to food insecurity in northeastern Ghana

Abstract: When grain production falls short of consumption expectations in self-provisioninghouseholds, a range of responses is possible. How each household selects from andmanages these responses provides the theoretical and empirical focus of this thesis.Several problematic issues in the 'coping strategies' literature are addressed, includingquestions of response sequencing and 'discrete stages', the timing of asset sales forfood, and the relationship between consumption protecting and consumption modifyingstrategies. Among other theoretical advances, criteria for response sequencing areidentified which explain decisions about which assets to sell for food, and when, interms of each asset's expected return rather than its immediate 'entitlement' value.This thesis is grounded in fieldwork conducted in the West African semi-arid tropics,a region characterised by seasonally, agricultural risk and market imperfections.Drought and armyworms undermined crop production in the fieldwork village in1987/8. The community is highly stratified economically, and striking cross-sectionalcontrasts in household behaviour and nutritional outcomes were observed. Food securehouseholds practice demographic, agronomic and economic diversification, whichprovide access to sources of food and income that are not correlated to local economicfluctuations. Consumption insecure households have narrower options and respond toproduction deficits by wealth depletion (asset monetisation, debt acquisition) and severefood rationing.Responses to production deficits are not confined to strategies for acquiring food.Multiple objectives - economic, nutritional and social - are retained. Nutritionaladjustments are motivated by intertemporal economic priorities. The poorest householdsprotected their assets and rationed consumption most severely: the cost of consumingresources rises as the number and value of assets owned falls. Within households,nutritional surveillance revealed that adults rationed their food consumption earlier andmore severely than their children. Adult anthropometric status may therefore be a morerobust predictor of food insecurity and economic stress than child anthropometry.

Type of Award:DPhil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:This thesis was digitised thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky

Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 1993Identifiers

Urn: uuid:365cffe9-4f3a-40d2-a9e7-efc847b63884

Source identifier: 604788794 Item Description

Type: Thesis;

Language: eng Subjects: Ghana Diet Food supply Households Tiny URL: td:604788794

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Author: Devereux, Stephen - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyFaculty of Social Studies - - - - Bibliographic Details Issue Date: 19

Source: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:365cffe9-4f3a-40d2-a9e7-efc847b63884



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