Emerging Threats to Food Security among Rural Households in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality

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Current unfavourable developments in the agricultural sector of most developing countries have brought to the fore renewed interest in the ever persistent challenge of food insecurity. The study examines the emerging threats confronting rural households food security in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region of Ghana. The mixed method approach and the exploratory descriptive study design were employed. Both secondary and primary data sources were relied on. The secondary sources included both published and unpublished documents. The primary data were sought primarily from rural farm household heads. A combination of methods was employed to sample 90 respondents―on the basis of the six (6) Urban/Area councils of the municipality. The study found that socio-demographic characteristics (sex, age, household size and the number on regular income earners) of the survey respondents are proving to have a negative effect on their food security status. The study also found that climatic conditions in the area are becoming considerably variable with negative effects on agricultural activity and food security. The study further revealed that cultivable land available to rural folks is slowly diminishing with adverse implications for food security. In the area of price volatility, it became evident that expenditure on food outstrips income from farm produce, creating an income gap with obvious negative implications on food security. Finally, rural farm households coping strategies in the face of these threats have been shown to be varying but less effective and sustainable. The study therefore recommended a comprehensive, holistic and multi-frontal approach which includes: maintaining productive household structures; ensuring effective strategies towards climate induce-stresses; promoting sustainable land use planning to effectively deal with these threats while recommending further and building strong resistance towards food price volatility.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning.