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Abstract

Purpose. Using ologit analytical tool, this study examined the determinants of vulnerability to food insecurity by cocoa farming households in Southern Asunafo, Ghana and assessed the coping strategies adopted by the farmers against food shortage related shocks. Methodology / approach. A two-stage sampling procedure was used to elicit cross sectional data from a total of 150 cocoa farmers across the 11 settlements in the study area using a semi-structured questionnaire. CARE and WFP (2003) Household Coping Strategy Index (CSI) and Factor analysis were used to determine vulnerability to food insecurity status of the households and ordered logit regression was used to identify the determinants of vulnerability. The data was analyzed using STATA software. Results. Findings from the study revealed that 35.33 % of the households were moderately vulnerable while 33.33 % and 31.34 % were mildly and severely vulnerable respectively in the study area. Borrowing food, eating seed stock, begging for food and reducing meals were the major coping strategies adopted by the households. The ordered logit regression result shows that being a female household head increases the probability of being vulnerable. Age of household head was found to be significant (p < 0.05) and negatively influencing Vulnerability to food insecurity. Household dependants and number of coping strategies were found to be significant (p<0.05) and positively influencing Vulnerability. Education level, farm income and labor hour use were found to be significant (p < 0.1) and negatively influencing vulnerability. Marital Status, Access to extension and off-farm occupation were significant (p > 0.05) and negatively influencing household vulnerability to food insecurity among the households. Originality / scientific novelty. Author’s developed econometric model is very useful is empirically assessing determinants of vulnerability of cocoa farming households to food poverty in southern Asunafo district, and to form a basis for decision making regarding achieving food security in Southern Asonafo. The proposed method offers great potentials for achieving safe, nutritious, and accessible food security condition amidst the challenge of food poverty. Practical value / implications. The study concluded that policies that address the major determinants of vulnerability such as education, off-farm occupation, access to extension services and income diversifications with emphasis on cocoa female farmers’ empowerment are will enhance resilience of rural farming households to food insecurity in the study area.

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