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Add To Calendar 28/04/2016 14:30:0028/04/2016 14:50:00Africa/JohannesburgAsian-Pacific Aquaculture 2016AN ASSESSMENT OF HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY IN FISH FARMING COMMUNITIES IN GHANA Diamond 2The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY


Kwamena Quagrainie* and Akua Akuffo
Department of Agricultural Economics
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana

Fish is an important source of protein and essential micronutrients for many African households. Therefore, participation in aquaculture could have food security implications both directly through fish consumption, and indirectly through income effects. Food security can be assessed at different levels, i.e., nationally, regionally, and at the household levels. This study looked at the household level where food security can be characterized by nutritional adequacy and dietary diversity. Given the importance of fish in the Ghanaian diet, this study examined the impact of fish farming on household food security. The objectives of the study were to (1) measure household food security (dietary diversity and nutrient adequacy) using WFP's Food Consumption Score (FCS), and (2) assess the determinants of household food security. Data was collected from two regions in Ghana, i.e., Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo. The FCS was measured as a sum of the weighted frequencies of various food groups consumed in a week. The food groups included cereals and tubers, pulses, vegetables and fruits, meats and fish, sugar, milk, and condiments.

The study evaluated households engaged in fish farming as well as non-fish farming households (control group). The average FCS value for fish farming households was 72 while that of non-fish farming households was 69 but the difference is not statistically significant. A two stage least squares regression (2SLS) estimation method was used to assess the determinants of FCS, which included fish farming participation, location (peri-urban vs rural), farming experience, number of years of mother's education, number of children at home, and household wealth (proxy for household income). Technical support was used as instrument to control for endogeneity of the fish farming participation variable. Results from the 2SLS estimation showed that fish farming participation, peri-urban location, mother's education, and number of children at home are very strong predictors of household nutritional adequacy and dietary diversity in fish farming communities. The impact of fish farming could be attributed to both fish consumption and the income effect. An educated mother probably uses her knowledge of nutritional foods to purchase the right kinds of foods for the household, while households located in peri-urban areas have better opportunities in terms of income generating activities, larger markets and food delivery systems than rural areas.

To assess any differences in household wealth on food security, the study tested for potential non-linear relationships by adding a quadratic household wealth variable. The variable was found to have a positive relationship with food security. This appears to suggest that wealthier households, usually the middle to higher income class in the fish farming communities, make better dietary quality decisions for the household compared to households in the low income class.

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