Volume 9, Issue 34 (winter 2021 2021)                   serd 2021, 9(34): 83-106 | Back to browse issues page

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Keshavarz M. Investigating food security and food waste control of farm families under drought (A case of Kherameh County). serd 2021; 9 (34) :83-106
URL: http://serd.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3623-en.html
Associate Professor, Department of Agriculture, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran , keshavarzmarzieh@pnu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (2743 Views)
For decades, various policy initiatives have been planned to achieve food security. However, the number of malnourished people is growing, especially in rural areas of developing countries. Due to the increase of extreme weather events, such as droughts, and significant depletion of water resources, achieving food security is not an easy task. Therefore, an investigation of rural households’ food security in drought prone areas is of great concern. On the other hand, it has been estimated that at least one third of the produced food would be wasted and half of the food waste originates at household level. However, considerable gaps exist in our understanding of how drought incidents affect the food waste management behaviors of farm families. Thus, addressing the factors influencing household’ food waste reduction efforts is crucial.
In order to investigate food security and food waste control pattern of the farm families under drought a survey study was implemented on eastern regions of Fars province (i.e.
Kherameh County). Kherameh has suffered from 9 continuous years of meteorological and hydrological droughts. Farm families of Kherameh County were the target population. A stratified random sampling technique was used to select a sample of families who suffered from drought. The formula of Scheaffer et al. (2012) was used to determine the sample size (n= 219). Food security questionnaire which was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture was applied to investigate food security of farm families under drought. Also, household-level food waste questionnaire (van Harpen et al., 2016) was used to assess food waste behaviors of farm families during drought. Moreover, a questionnaire was developed to explore the main determinants of food security and food waste control under drought. Its face validity was confirmed by panel of experts. A pilot study was also conducted to evaluate the instrument.
Result and discussion
The findings revealed four different food security groups including 1) food secure (24.6%), 2) food insecure without hunger (22.9%), 3) food insecure with moderate hunger (23.7%) and 4) food insecure with extreme hunger (28.8%). The regression analysis was conducted to determine drivers of food security under drought. The results indicated that the specified variables explained 62% of the total variance in food security. The standardized regression coefficients illustrated that income was the main predictor of farm families’ food security. Families with higher income loss had more problems ensuring food security than the smaller ones. The results indicated that crop yield played an important role in determining food security. It suggested that farm families who experienced crop yield loss consumed lower amounts of food than usual. On the basis of the findings, food prices had a significant effect on food security of farm families. This implies that the cost of food was the major constraint and the majority of food insecure families had to lessen their food quantity and quality at a survival level. The results revealed that employment ratio, water scarcity and financial capital had important influences on food security, too.
The findings illustrated that drought stimulated food waste control. So that, food insecure families with moderate and extreme hunger had significantly reduced their food wastes. Moreover, food waste was significantly related to bread, rice, fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. This is while dairy and meat products’ waste were negligible. Analysis of the Bayesian network and partial least squares (PLS) path model illustrated that attitude exerted the maximum influence on the food waste control. Previous studies confirmed a positive effect of attitude on the food waste control behavior. The results revealed that income was negatively associated with food waste control behavior. Farm families who attempted to develop off-farm income sources and those who earned more money from agriculture were less likely to reduce food waste. Moreover, food waste control of farm families was significantly influenced by perceived food accessibility. This implies that higher access to food supply centers reduces the probability of food waste management. Also, findings illustrated that perceived food quality was associated with food waste control behavior. This shows that food quality was believed to be effective in reducing the food wastes. The results revealed that water scarcity, food prices and knowledge were associated with food waste control behavior, too. Overall, the model explained 34% of the variance in food waste control.
To ensure food security and minimize food waste under drought conditions, development of climate smart agriculture that allow increasing food production while using fewer water resources, promoting drought-risk reduction solutions and knowledge and information systems, and enhancing social, financial and human capitals are imperative. 
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2021/02/28 | Accepted: 2021/02/28

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