Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State
This research discusses the relationship between agricultural development and food security, determinants of supply of (production of food) and demand for (consumption of food) food and determinants of food insecurity in Kassala State. In so doing, it provides a significant contribution to the current literature. We use the measurement of household food insecurity access scale and use new primary data from a Food Security Household Survey conducted in Kassala State (2019). We find that the majority of households are food insecure (77%), out of which 32.9% of households are severely food insecure, while, few households are fully food secure (23%). We find large variation in households' food insecurity between localities, with rural Kassala having most food insecure households. This may be explained by the variation in monthly income between localities. We use OLS estimation to estimate the determinants of household level production and consumption of food. We verify our first hypothesis that the significant determinants of production of food are the size of agricultural land, livestock and irrigation systems. We find support for our second hypothesis that indicates that the family's own production of food and household income have positive effects on food consumption. Similarly, we find that the significant determinants of production of sorghum (the main staple food) are agricultural land and livestock and that the significant determinants of consumption of sorghum are the family's own production of sorghum, household income and family size. For small farmers, their own consumption of sorghum is to a larger extent determined by their own production of sorghum. Therefore, enhancing production of sorghum among smallholders would contribute to enhancing consumption of sorghum and hence food security. Using ordered probit (and logit) estimation we verify our third hypothesis that implies that the significant determinants of household food insecurity score index are family own production of food (that increases the probabilities of household being food secure), agricultural land, and other household and village characteristics. This demonstrates the importance of family production of food for supporting food security. We investigated the gender gap related to food production and food security and found that male headed households produce more food and are more food secure than female headed households. We conclude that agricultural production is impeded by the lack of agricultural land, cultivation of few crops, insufficient irrigation, shortages of agricultural services, mainly agricultural services related to technology. Therefore, the major policy implication from our results is that increased household incomes and enhancing family own production of food are important for eliminating food insecurity. We recommend policies that may increase household incomes and enhance smallholders' own production of food. Relevant policy instruments may be increased agricultural land ownership, increasing the size of cultivated land for smallholders, diversification of agricultural food crops, improvement of irrigation systems, enhancing female participation in agricultural activities and food security, improvement of agricultural services, mainly agricultural services related to technology, improving access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation systems and in general improved infrastructure which may help in access to food.
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