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Is Hunger Destined to be Perpetual in Burundi?

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p> Hunger is a worldwide problem, and Africa is the continent with the world’s highest percentage of hungry persons; Burundi is Africa’s hungriest country. This paper addresses hunger in Burundi and then identifies the factors that predict hunger in that country. Burundi is a rural country and its rural population will receive a great deal of attention in this paper, especially because the study looks closely at literature’s suggestion that farmers may be hungrier than the rest of the population, and gender may be a factor. This study is based on a national probability sample of 1,200 Burundi respondents included in Round 6 of the Afrobarometer survey conducted in 2014. The search is for policy related factors that would help alleviate Burundi’s hunger problem. To preview the findings, this study did not find any light at the end of the tunnel. The factors that predicted hunger were primarily immutable indicators, education, agriculture as an occupation, and wealth, as measured by assets owned. Over 80 percent of the respondents felt the government was not ensuring that people had enough to eat. Eighty-seven percent were unemployed, 86 percent were rural residents and 71 percent of the respondents reported some degree of hunger, about one-fourth reported being hungry all of the time. The gender and hunger relationship was significant at the bivariate level, but that relationship disappeared in the ordered logistical analysis. </p
Food Science and Nutrition Studies
ISSN 2573-1661 (Print) ISSN 2573-167X (Online)
Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
Is Hunger Destined to be Perpetual in Burundi?
Lincoln J. Fry1*
1 Academic Member, Sociology Research Unit, Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER),
Athens, Greece
* Lincoln J. Fry, E-mail:
Received: February 21, 2017 Accepted: March 5, 2017 Online Published: March 15, 2017
doi:10.22158/fsns.v1n1p11 URL:
Hunger is a worldwide problem, and Africa is the continent with the world’s highest percentage of
hungry persons; Burundi is Africa’s hungriest country. This paper addresses hunger in Burundi and
then identifies the factors that predict hunger in that country. Burundi is a rural country and its rural
population will receive a great deal of attention in this paper, especially because the study looks closely
at literature’s suggestion that farmers may be hungrier than the rest of the population, and gender may
be a factor. This study is based on a national probability sample of 1,200 Burundi respondents included
in Round 6 of the Afrobarometer survey conducted in 2014. The search is for policy related factors that
would help alleviate Burundi’s hunger problem. To preview the findings, this study did not find any
light at the end of the tunnel. The factors that predicted hunger were primarily immutable indicators,
education, agriculture as an occupation, and wealth, as measured by assets owned. Over 80 percent of
the respondents felt the government was not ensuring that people had enough to eat. Eighty-seven
percent were unemployed, 86 percent were rural residents and 71 percent of the respondents reported
some degree of hunger, about one-fourth reported being hungry all of the time. The gender and hunger
relationship was significant at the bivariate level, but that relationship disappeared in the ordered
logistical analysis.
Burundi, hunger, rural, agriculture, farmers
1. Introduction
In 2014, Burundi topped the Global Hunger Index for the third year in a row. The country has been
described as one of the least developed countries (Jenicek & Grofova, 2015) and the hungriest, not only
in Africa, but in the world (, 2015). A landlocked country in the African Great Lakes
region, it is bordered by Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Two civil wars
and genocides during the 1970s and again in the 1990s have left this predominantly rural country not
only undeveloped and its population of roughly 10.5 million, one of the poorest in the world. Food Science and Nutrition Studies Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
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Against that backdrop, this paper assesses the extent of self-reported hunger among 1,200 Burundi
respondents and then searches for the factors that predict hunger in that country. Even though Burundi
has been somewhat neglected, the literature devoted to what is commonly called food insecurity will be
reviewed. Some of the issues raised in the African food insecurities literature will be addressed and are
questions central to this paper’s analysis. These include whether rural residents, especially agricultural
workers, are hungrier than other Burundi respondents. Other topics include whether gender differences
in hunger are apparent, and are there any implications in this research that add any knowledge about
hidden hunger? As the title of the paper suggests, the big question will be is there any light at the end of
the tunnel regarding hunger in Burundi?
1.1 Hunger in the World and Africa
According to the WHES (World Hunger Education Service) World Hunger and Poverty Facts and
Statistics Report (2015), hunger has three meanings. Two of those meanings deal with craving or desire
for food. The third meaning refers to the want or scarcity of food in a country, and it is in this sense that
this paper addresses hunger. There are two classifications of hungry persons that are of interest here.
The broadest classification includes those who suffer from what is known as “hidden hunger”. These
are an estimated two billion persons that are affected by a chronic deficiency of essential vitamins and
minerals. Among this population the signs of malnutrition and hunger are less visible, but it has
negative and long term consequences, often for long term health, productivity and cognitive
development (Muthayya et al., 2013). The second classification includes those who demonstrate clear
cut hunger; in the latest UN Food and Agriculture Organization Report (2015), the estimate was that
925 million people were hungry worldwide, and that 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were
hungry or undernourished. This made Africa the continent with the second largest number of hungry
people, following Asia and the Pacific with 578 million. Due to the difference in population sizes,
Sub-Saharan Africa actually had the largest proportion of hungry/undernourished people, estimated at
30 percent of the population compared to 16 percent for Asia and the Pacific.
1.2 Food Insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa
As Clover (2003) has suggested, despite the fact that the right to food is one of the most consistently
acclaimed rights in international human rights law, no other human right has been so frequently and
spectacularly violated. Clover’s discussion of food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa leads to the
conclusion that hunger is a multi-faceted issue in Africa, and that just growing more food will not
eradicate the problem. Agriculture is important and Clover points out that Africa has gone from being a
key agricultural commodity exporter into being a net importer; the African continent now receives the
most food aid. Perhaps the most important point Clover made was to suggest hunger will not be
eradicated by just throwing money at the problem. Hunger is a political creation which must be ended
by political means, a theme which will be mentioned below and revisited in the Discussion section.
1.3 Hunger in Burundi
Malnutrition is the 4th leading cause of death in Burundi, and the 3rd leading cause of total deaths in the Food Science and Nutrition Studies Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
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country. The country ranks 6th in the world in this category (, 2016), with over
60% of the country’s population deemed undernourished. According to Jenicek and Grofova (2015)
they classify Burundi as the world’s third poorest country, a country that is highly vulnerable to natural
disasters which contribute further to nutritional instability. Burundi has been afflicted by a wide range
of challenges such as land shortage, land degradation, corruption, increased political instability and
ethnic civil unrest (especially since 1990), and, HIV/AIDS. According to Fauk et al. (2017), there are
610,000 children in Burundi who are orphans. Most because of AIDS, but many have been abandoned
by their parents because of their dire economic situation. To make matters worse, even those with intact
families are faced with poor access to education, which means that the country’s youth is challenged in
the task of bringing about significant development in the near future.
Burundi is a rural country and its economy is based on agriculture. As Jenicek and Grofova (2015)
noted, as of 2007, 90 percent of Burundi’s population lived in rural areas. Food crops occupy 85
percent of agricultural land and most crops are produced for the owner’s consumption. There is a
shortage of agricultural land and there has been a fourfold increase in population and land holdings
have been divided to accommodate the claims of sons for family land. The return of nearly 500.000
refugees has increased the pressure on land ownership. The UN started intervening in 1993first
through efforts at peace-keeping, and then through reconstruction projects. Today, 42% of Burundi’s
national income is from foreign aid.
1.4 Hunger and Farmers, Climate Change, and Gender
As Sanchez and Swaminathan (2005) indicated, roughly half, 50%, of the hungry are found in small
holder farming households. Another 20% are the landless rural and 10% are pastoralists, fishers and
forest dwellers; the remaining 20 percent are urban residents. This paper will look at farmers, in order
to determine if they are in fact hungrier than other Burundi respondents. There are several issues that
emerge from the rural hunger literature. The first is climate change Shisanya and Mafongoya (2016)
who suggested that smallholder subsistence farmers will face severe negative impacts from climate
change, with their household food security being seriously affected. This paper examines the extent to
which farmers see climate change as an issue the government should address. The final issue addressed
here is the way gender affects hunger in Burundi, especially female farmers. As Abebayo and Adekunie
(2016) have indicated, the division of labor is becoming blurred. Many men have left the land to work
in the towns or neighboring countries. Also, HIV related diseases and deaths have had a major effect on
the agricultural labor force. As a result, women sometimes comprise up to 80% of the adult rural
population and are made to take on jobs that were traditionally done by men; farming is one focus in
this paper.
1.5 The Study: The Research Question
The picture of Burundi painted by Jenicek and Grofova (2015) is grim. They described an
impoverished, over-populated country with limited resources that cannot overcome its hunger problem
in the near future. They noted that in 2005, the real per capita GNP dropped to $105, which meant that Food Science and Nutrition Studies Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
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if that trend persisted, Burundi would need 225 years to reduce its poverty by half. Against that
backdrop, this study looks at hunger in Burundi and attempts to identify the factors that are related to
hunger in present day Burundi. As the title of this paper suggests, the search will be to determine
whether there are any rays of hope for the hunger problem in Burundi, or is hunger destined to be
perpetual. Several known rays of hope are currently in the process of development and will be covered
below in the Discussion section.
2. Method
The Data: This study’s Data Source is the Afrobarometer project. As recently described by Fry (2017),
it is a collaborative research effort formed in 1999 when three independent research projects merged;
there were Michigan State University, the Institute for Democracy in South Africa and the Center for
Democratic Development. The Project’s objectives are as follows: 1) to produce scientifically reliable
data on public opinion in sub-Saharan Africa; 2) to strengthen institutional capacity for survey research
in Africa; and 3) to broadly disseminate and apply survey results. In 2000, Afrobarometer joined other
regional barometers to form the Global Barometer Network; the following year, Afrobarometer
completed the Round 1 survey. The project started with 12 countries in Round 1, and by 2016 Round 6
was completed, in 36 African countries. The project uses a standardized questionnaire, with new
questions or country specific questions added by round.
The individual country is the unit of analysis and sampling goal is to create national probability
samples which represent cross sections of adult citizens, 18 years and older, for each country. Sampling
sizes are set at either 1,200 or 2,400 respondents, depending upon the country’s population size. The
sampling procedures used in all of the Afrobarometer surveys are explained in detail in Bratton, Mattes
and Gyimah-Boadi (2005).
2.1 The Dependent Variable: Hunger
The study’s questionnaire included what is called The Lived Poverty Index used in the Afrobarometer
studies which was adopted from Mattes (2003). One of the five questions in the Index asked “over the
past year, how often, if ever, have you or anyone in your family gone without enough food to eat”.
Fixed responses to this question were: never, just once or twice, several times, many times, always.
These responses were coded as follows: Never = 1, just once or twice = 2 and many times and always =
3. These categories provide the basis for the ordered logistical analysis presented in the Results section.
2.2 The Independent Variables
The Afrobarometer questionnaire does not ask respondents to report their income. As Bratton (2008)
indicated, this is because many citizens in poor countries operate in informal markets where cash
transactions, including income, are unrecorded and difficult to measure. Instead, this research used
what is called an Asset-based Wealth Index, a summed index created from four questions that ask about
household assets. The survey asked respondents: “Which of these things do you personally own: A
radio? A television? A motor vehicle, car or motorcycle? a cell phone?” Responses to these questions Food Science and Nutrition Studies Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
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were coded as binary. Either (0 = don’t own; 1 = own), and these responses were used to create a
summed index for this study.
Other control variables are listed in Table 1 and were measured by a single item, like age, and others
were collapsed into fewer categories. Race and religion are not included in Table 1 because over 99
percent of the respondents were classified as Black Africans and over 95 percent of the respondents
reported that they were Christians. Education was reduced to four categories from nine by combining
no school, informal only and then creating primary, high school. And post secondary categories.
Respondents were asked a series of work related questions, like their employment status. Respondents
were also asked to identify the most important problems faced by the country that the government
should address. Respondents were provided with two hypothetical questions which asked what would
be their top and second priorities for additional investment if the country could increase spending.
Fixed responses were provided, which included education, infrastructure, security, healthcare,
agriculture and development, energy supply or none of the above. The responses to these questions are
also listed in Table 1. Note that race and religion are not included in Table 1 because over 99 percent of
the respondents were classified as Black Africans and over 95 percent of the respondents reported that
they were Christians.
Table 1. Social and Demographic Characteristics of the Burundi Sample (N = 1,200)
N (%)
600 (50)
600 (50)
No formal/informal schooling
456 (38)
Some/Primary school completed
540 (45)
Some/completed high school
156 (13)
46 (4)
1,038 (87)
Employed part time
38 (3)
Employed full time
124 (10)
168 (14)
1,032 (86)
18 through 29
402 (34) Food Science and Nutrition Studies Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
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30 through 49
434 (36)
50 and over
364 (30)
Agricultural worker/occupation
818 (70)
356 (30)
Asset-based Wealth
None of these
407 (34)
458 (38)
Radio and TV
241 (20)
Radio, TV and motor vehicle (car or motorcycle)
93 (8)
Table 1, shows this Burundi sample was relatively young, with 70 percent under the age of 50.
Forty-five percent of the respondents have some attendance or have completed primary school, while
38 percent have not attended school or have received informal education only. Thirteen percent
attended some or completed high school and 4 percent of the sample have post-secondary education.
Only 10 percent of the sample was employed and 87 percent were unemployed. The sample was
overwhelmingly rural, 86 percent and 70 percent listed their occupations as in agriculture, farming,
forestry or fishing. In terms of the assets they owned, 38 percent indicated they only owned a radio,
while 34 percent indicated they did not own any of the assets on the list. Eight percent of the sample
owned a radio, TV and a vehicle.
3. Results
The next task in the analysis was to identify the respondents self-reported level of hunger, how often
they go with out basic necerssities (food) and perceptions of problems the government should address
or where the government should direct funds if money was available. The responses to those items
appear in Table 2.
Table 2. Self-Reported Hunger, Lack of Access to Basic Necessities (Food), and Perceptions of
Governmental Priorities and Possible Investment (N = 1,200)
N (%)
348 (29)
581 (48)
271 (23)
Basic necessities (food)
About once every two to three months
42 (4) Food Science and Nutrition Studies Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
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Once a month
105 (9)
Two or three times a month
165 (14)
Once a week
185 (16)
Several times a week
455 (38)
158 (13)
Government ensuring everyone has enough to eat
971 (82)
216 (18)
Respondent selections of the priorities government should
Poverty/Food Shortage/famine
294 (9)
Farming and Agriculture
266 (8)
233 (7)
220 (7)
215 (7)
Water supply
207 (6)
42 (4)
Management of the economy
88 (3)
7 (> 1)
Votes for Top Priority for additional government investment
Agricultural development
Energy supply
None of the above
Table 2 reveals that 71 percent of this Burundi sample report some degree of hunger, with 23 percent
indicating they are always hungry. Thirty-eight percent reported being hungry several times a week.
And 13 percent reported being hungry every day. Poverty and destitution was the top choice as the
priority the government should address, 15 percent, followed by food shortage, 9 percent, and farming
and agriculture, 8 percent. Agricultural development received the most votes regarding where the
government should invest funds if money was available. Healthcare was second, followed by education
and infrastructure.
The next task in the analysis was to cross-tabulate some of the study’s independent variables by hunger.
These results appear in Table 3. Food Science and Nutrition Studies Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
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Table 3. Cross-Tabulation Hunger and Selected Independent Variables (N = 1,200)
Hunger level
a lot
N (%)
N (%)
306 (51)
114 (19)
275 (46)
157 (26)
No formal/informal only
219 (48)
147 (32)
Some/Primary school completed
283 (52)
107 (20)
Some/completed high school
71 (45)
15 (9)
8 (17)
2 (4)
504 (49)
246 (24)
Employed part time
15 (39)
6 (16)
Employed full time
62 (50)
19 (15)
61 (36)
24 (14)
520 (50)
247 (24)
Agricultural worker/occupation
397 (49)
230 (28)
175 (49)
36 (10)
Asset-based Wealth
None of these
190 (47)
130 (32)
229 (50)
105 (23)
Radio and TV
141 (59)
29 (12)
Radio, TV and motor vehicle
20 (22)
7 (9)
18 through 29
196 (49)
88 (22)
30 thru 49
203 (47)
97 (22)
50 and over
182 (50)
86 (24)
Government ensuring everyone has enough to eat
475 (49)
214 (22)
99 (46)
53 (24)
Table 3 shows that most of the variables included in Table 3 were statistically significant. The two Food Science and Nutrition Studies Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
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exceptions were age and respondent perceptions regarding whether the government was ensuring that
people had enough to eat. Some other variables included in Table 3 were highly significant. These
included education, residence, agricultural work as an occupation and the asset based wealth index. All
at p = .000. Gender at p = .01 and employment status, p = .04, were also significant, but to a lesser
The final task in the analysis was to conduct an ordered logistical regression analysis to determine
which variables predicted hunger in Burundi. An ordered logistical model was appropriate because the
study had a categorical dependent variable. The statistical program used for all of the analysis
presented in this paper was Stata, and Long and Freese (2006) discuss the use of regression models for
categorical dependent variables when using Stata. The results of this study’s ordered logistical analysis
appear in Table 4.
Table 4. Logistic Regression with Self-Reported Hunger as the Dependent Variable
Standard Error
Employment status
Total assets
Agriculture worker
Government doing enough
Invest agriculture
Number of observations = 1,097
LR chi2(12) = 164.29
Prob > chi2 = 0.0000
Pseudo R2 = 0.07
Table 4 shows that 4 variables reached significance in the regression equation. In order of their strength,
these were education, agricultural worker as the respondent’s occupation, the asset based wealth
indicator, and whether respondents thought the government was ensuring that people had enough to eat.
Perhaps what is most interesting are those variables that were expected to be significant and were not.
These include gender and the rural-urban dimension, which the literature suggested were significant
predictors of hunger. Perhaps this can be explained by the significance of agriculture as an occupation.
Another significant variable identified above and not included in the regression analysis was the basic
necessity indicator, and that was because the items multicollinearity with hunger. Food Science and Nutrition Studies Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
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4. Discussion
Another issue which disappeared in the regression analysis was the need to invest in agriculture, which
appears to be a major solution to the world food and hunger crisis found in the recent literature (Fan &
Rosegrant, 2016). The thinking is that increased agricultural growth will play a major role in addressing
the world food crisis and the major stumbling block will be the cost.
There are grass roots approaches to the hunger problem in Burundi noted in the literature and one will be
mentioned here. This may be defined as taking advantage of what already exists in the environment.
The example is provided by Akinnifesi et al. (2006), who noted that among the consequences of most
countries in Southern Africa experiencing acute malnutrition, food insecurity, and poverty among both
rural and urban populations is deforestation and loss of biodiversity. It has been recognized what are
known as the Miombo woodlands are in danger, an area which includes Southern Burundi. This forest
area is known to have over 75 Indigenous Fruit Trees (IFTs), which bear edible fruits. These fruits are
rich in minerals and vitamins, can be sold for cash income and are an important food source during
emergencies. Akinnifesi et al. provide an overview of some efforts to domesticate the IFTs identified by
farmers and users as priority species, which is as an important step to providing opportunities for
resource-poor farmers to cultivate and generate income from the sale of fresh and processed products.
The approach used involves four basic steps: 1) identification of priority species by communities and
other users, 2) participatory selection of superior trees and naming them in situ, 3) propogation and
cultivation of trees as fruit orchards, and 4) dissemination and adoption. To this point, over 5000
farmers in four countries are involved in on-farm testing of IFTs in the field and homesteads.
This example points to the need to create an enabling environment, and demonstrates that policy
reforms and market development will be necessary to achieve socioeconomic empowerment of the
resource poor farmers in the region through domestication, utilization and commercialization of fruits
and other agricultural commodities, which in turn stresses the need for product development research,
private sector involvement and strong policy support, in order for other similar projects to have tangible
As far as can be determined, this is the only published study that has assessed hunger in Burundi
through individual level survey methods, yet, the results presented here are consistent with other
assessments of hunger in Burundi. For example, the Borgenproject (2014) reported that the rates of
malnutrition have increased and Burundi is only one of four nations that has seen an increase in GHI
(Global Hunger Index) from 1990 to 2016, indicating a worsening of the food situation in the country.
The picture presented here and elsewhere suggest that the prospects for the future of hunger looks
dismal for Burundi. At first glance, the fact that education was the first predictor to emerge from the
regression analysis might seem favorable. In fact, Burundi has been identified as the African Country
least able to retain its top talent (Mail Guardian, 2015). This comes about because the pursuit of
opportunities outside the country is called a feature of working life, and Burundi was ranked number
one in terms of the country where the best and brightest leave for opportunities in other countries and at Food Science and Nutrition Studies Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
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the bottom of the list of African Countries able to attract top talent. The country cannot create more
farm land, and the remaining forest land must be and will be protected; the example provided by the
Miombo woodlands makes that case.
In conclusion, the answer to the question which generated this paper is that hunger will be or remain
perpetual in Burundi into the foreseeable future. Seventy-one percent of the respondents to this survey
reported some degree of hunger, with about one-fourth, 23 percent, reporting that they are hungry all
the time. About 87 percent of the respondents in this study were unemployed and 86 percent listed
some form of agriculture as their occupation. The surprising finding was that, while significant at the
bivariate level, gender was not significant in the regression analysis, suggesting that everyone is hungry
in Burundi, women and men, and this study suggests there is no apparent improvement on the horizon.
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... Table 1 shows the countries that have been identified as the world's hungriest nations, lists Africa's hungriest countries and then shows the percentages of persons in African countries who reported being hungry many times or always. These numbers were derived through a breakdown of Round 6 of Afrobarometer survey by country and earlier epapers which have presented country level results include Fry et al. [5][6][7]. Table 1 does make it clear that Africa is the major source of the world's hunger. The first 9 countries on the world's hungriest list are all African countries, with a single Asian country completing the top 10. ...
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Background The purpose of this study was to understand the strategies employed by families that adopt Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)-orphaned children (Adoptive families) for coping with and mitigating the impact of AIDS in Mbeya Rural District, Tanzania. High numbers of AIDS-orphaned children aged below 18 years in Mbeya Region have led to increasing the burden of families caring for them. Understanding the coping strategies and impact mitigation activities employed by adoptive families is important in order to develop programmes to help them. Methods This study employed a qualitative method for data collection (one-on-one in-depth interviews). The respondents included 12 male and 8 female heads of families that provide essential care for AIDS-orphaned children in Mbeya Rural District in Tanzania. The framework approach was used to analyse the data that were collected from 15 July to 15 August 2010. Results The study findings revealed that adoptive families faced several challenges including financial constraints due to increased needs for basic essentials such as health care expenses, school fees and food. Further impacts on adoptive families included shortage of work opportunities and limited time to address these challenges. To mitigate these challenges, adoptive families employed a range of coping strategies including selling family assets and renting out parts of cultivable land for extra cash. Task reallocation which involved the AIDS-orphaned children entering the labour force was also employed as a strategy to mitigate challenges and involved de-enrolling of children from schools so they could take part in income-generating activities in order to earn supplementary family income. The creation of additional income-generating activities such as poultry farming were other coping mechanisms employed, and these received support from both non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governmental organisations, including the Isangati Agricultural Development Organization (local NGO) and the local government respectively. Conclusions The current study identified challenges that adoptive families as well as the AIDS-orphaned children themselves faced in Mbeya Rural District, Tanzania. Recognition of these issues highlights the need for targeted interventions to address the underlying social determinants of human immunodeficiency virus or HIV and AIDS in affected populations in order to prevent further imposition of social, cultural and economic disadvantages on families that provide care for AIDS-orphaned children and the children themselves. These findings may prove useful in provoking discussions that may lead to HIV/AIDS prevention and the development of broader mitigation strategies to alleviate the impact of this scourge on families and communities in rural Tanzania, and in similar settings across the world. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40249-016-0233-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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It is anticipated that smallholder subsistence farmers will face severe negative impacts from climate change, with household food security being seriously affected. This paper examines the methods of adaptation to climate change used by smallholder farmers and their impacts on household food security. The necessity to adapt to climate change is caused by a combination of sensitivity and exposure and the success in doing so depends on adaptive capacity. Household food security was determined using the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS). Of the surveyed households, 95 % were aware that climate is changing and expected severe impacts on their crop production systems. Households undertake crop and soil management practices in order to respond to the changing climate. About 83 % of households anticipated that they would alter their livelihoods systems in response to climate change, with 59 % of households indicating that government grants would play an important role in this. Of those assessed, 97 % were severely food insecure and the remaining 3 % were moderately food insecure. Householders were worried about the negative impacts of climate change which included droughts, floods and soil erosion. Householders who were vulnerable to climate change recorded high levels of food insecurity. Decline in prices of farm products, increases in costs of farm inputs and anxiety over occurrence of livestock diseases exacerbated household food insecurity. Information will play a critical role in mitigating the impacts of climate change on household food security but farmers should also be assisted with appropriate input packages, such as seeds and fertilizers that can help them adapt effectively. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology
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The scontribution is focused on the food problem in the least developed countries, on the chosen areas where the overall situation is the most problematic. It deals with Burundi, belonging to the low income food deficit countries with one of the world’s lowest rates of the gross domestic product per capita. The paper defines the food security situation in the global connection, representing a wide complex of economic, social, demographic, technologic and political aspects of production, distribution, shift and consumption of foodstuffs. The inter-related causes of food insecurity are mainly the long lasting civil wars, a limited access to land, environmental degradation, climatic shocks and the rapid population growth resulting from the high birth rates and the return of refugees. Subsistence crops and livestock products represent the main source of income for most households. The performance of these subsectors is very low, and generates chronic food deficits. Agriculture is thus the key sector in the predominantly rural economies and there is still a significant room for growth, diversification, increasing productivity and improving competitiveness. © 2015, Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences. All Rights Reserved.
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Based on the Afrobarometer, a survey research project, this examination of public opinion in sub-Saharan Africa reveals what ordinary Africans think about democracy and market reforms, subjects on which almost nothing is otherwise known. The authors reveal that widespread support for democracy in Africa is shallow and that Africans consequently feel trapped between state and market. Although they are learning about reform through knowledge and experience, it is assumed that few countries are likely to attain full-fledged democratic market status anytime soon. © Michael Bratton, Robert Mattes, and E. Gyimah-Boadi 2005 Cambridge University Press 2010.
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The right to food is one of those most consistently mentioned in international human rights documents, but it is the one most frequently violated in recent times. Targets set by the World Food Summit in 1996 for the reduction of hunger have largely failed, despite food production having grown faster than world population. Global, national and human security issues are increasingly converging, and in some regions overlapping. Some 840 million people worldwide are malnourished, the highest percentage of these being in Africa. The magnitude of the problem in Africa has now reached unprecedented crisis levels—some 38 million people face “an urgent and imminent threat to their peace, security and stability”.
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The unified global efforts to mitigate the high burden of vitamin and mineral deficiency, known as hidden hunger, in populations around the world are crucial to the achievement of most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We developed indices and maps of global hidden hunger to help prioritize program assistance, and to serve as an evidence-based global advocacy tool. Two types of hidden hunger indices and maps were created based on i) national prevalence data on stunting, anemia due to iron deficiency, and low serum retinol levels among preschool-aged children in 149 countries; and ii) estimates of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) attributed to micronutrient deficiencies in 136 countries. A number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as India and Afghanistan, had an alarmingly high level of hidden hunger, with stunting, iron deficiency anemia, and vitamin A deficiency all being highly prevalent. The total DALY rates per 100,000 population, attributed to micronutrient deficiencies, were generally the highest in sub-Saharan African countries. In 36 countries, home to 90% of the world's stunted children, deficiencies of micronutrients were responsible for 1.5-12% of the total DALYs. The pattern and magnitude of iodine deficiency did not conform to that of other micronutrients. The greatest proportions of children with iodine deficiency were in the Eastern Mediterranean (46.6%), European (44.2%), and African (40.4%) regions. The current indices and maps provide crucial data to optimize the prioritization of program assistance addressing global multiple micronutrient deficiencies. Moreover, the indices and maps serve as a useful advocacy tool in the call for increased commitments to scale up effective nutrition interventions.
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Many rural households rely on indigenous fruit trees as sources of cash and subsistence in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), but until recently there has been little effort to cultivate, improve or add value to these fruits. Since 1989 the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF: now the World Agroforestry Centre) initiated research-and-development work on more than 20 priority indigenous fruit trees in five SADC countries aimed at improving income in rural communities. A participatory approach was used in all stages of their domestication, product development and commercialization. Country-specific priority species were identified in five countries based on discussions with a wide range of users. These species have now become the focus of a regional tree domestication programme. An impact analysis indicates that a robust domestication programme will create incentives for farmer-led investment in the cultivation of indigenous fruit trees, as an alternative to wild fruit collection, especially where there is a decrease in fruit abundance. In Zimbabwe, the returns to family labour of collecting wild fruits are two to three times greater than other farming activities. These returns will be further increased by domestication.Progress in the domestication of four priority fruit tree species Uapaca kirkiana, Strychnos cocculoides, Parinari curatellifolia and Sclerocarya birrea from the miombo woodlands in southern Africa is reviewed. Preliminary results indicate that the long juvenile phase of Uapaca kirkiana can be shortened from 12–16 years to less than four years, using vegetative propagation methods.On-going multidisciplinary tree crop domestication research includes molecular genetic analyses, tissue culture, post-harvest storage, production economics, nutritional analyses, market and supply chain surveys, processing and feasibility assessments of pilot enterprises. Holistic plans are needed to promote cultivation and ensure product quality on farms and to maximize competitiveness at the farm gate and throughout the supply chain.
This paper examines the socio-economic status of women in group membership in selected areas of Kwara State, Nigeria with a view of discussing the benefit they enjoyed from this group. It has been reported that women farmers have been disadvantaged in term of access to land and credit availability among others. The study was conducted in selected villages in Kwara State. Cluster random sampling was used for this research. Data collected from the study were subjected to Pearson correlation and multiple regression analysis. It was found that the average age of members in the women groups is 31 years (84%). All the women are married (100%). However, majority of the women have no formal education (86%). Most benefits enjoyed by the members of women groups are loans and credit secured (91.8%), provision of assistance during hardship (80.6%) and boosting of income (50.7%). The results of the multiple regression analysis showed that the variables (age, educational level, credit secured and income) together explained 30.3% of the total variation in group membership (R2 = 0.303). The Pearson correlation result revealed a significant relationship between age (r = -0.424, P<0.05), educational level (r = -0.440, P<0.05), credit secured (r = 0.359, P<0.05), income (r = 0.430, P<0.05) and group membership. From the results, it is recommended that the women groups should be strengthened and supported by the government through credit availability and training for the group leaders on group dynamics more than what they are experiencing presently. Moreover, the extension agents should advice and frequently follow up and visit the women group.
"In many parts of the world, increased agricultural growth will play a key role in addressing the current world food crisis, in contributing to overall economic growth, and in helping to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of poor and hungry people by 2015 (MDG1). The challenge of meeting MDG1 under the current circumstances is considerable, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Of the means used to promote agricultural growth, sound government spending can be one of the most direct and effective. This brief presents ranges of estimates of the costs involved using two different approaches. There have been numerous attempts to estimate the costs of achieving MDG1, mostly at the global or regional level, including the United Nations' Zedillo Report and studies by the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. These estimates have varied widely, mostly because of different methodologies, assumptions, coverage, measures, and interpretations. The two primary methodologies used in these studies have involved unit costs and growth-poverty elasticities (determining the extent to which poverty declines as growth increases). There has been no consistent basis of analysis for the first method, and studies using the second have been limited by data availability. We have attempted to address some of these issues by providing improved, research-based estimates of the global and regional investments required to achieve MDG1. Because this is a complex issue and each of the approaches mentioned above has distinct merits, we have decided to produce estimates based on both approaches to provide a fuller picture. Expanding on the two approaches, we also present estimates of the costs of financing the inputs required for accelerating agricultural production in SSA." from Author's text