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Abstract

No household that faces the dilemma of food shortage sit back in despair to allow the problem fester, but deploy various alternatives to combat food shortages. Such mechanisms are termed coping strategies - ranging from food-acquiring activities to change in eating behaviour or short term measures to long term mechanisms. The administration of these strategies is a sure indication that there is food security challenge and the coping strategies adopted defined the severity, type and the duration of food stress. This paper reviewed the coping strategies and objectively assesses their impact on the food security status of the region. Ravaged by the incidences of Boko Haram and communal crises, the northern region as a whole has got her share of induced poor food security situation that have manifested in the reduction in food production, wide spread hunger and malnutrition in some parts of the region. The coping strategies deployed include overt reliance on less preferred and less expensive foods, borrowing or reliance on help from friends or relatives (with PCS scores of 2), limiting the portion size at mealtimes, rationing adult meals and reduction in the number of meals eaten in a day (PCS score 3). These strategies indicate that the households in the regions as a whole deploy more often, less severe coping strategies, implying that food security crisis could be easily reversed if appropriate interventions such as increased support to agricultural sector via input support and improved security apparatus are put in place.

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