Household Income Diversification and Food Insecurity in the Upper West Region of Ghana

  • Kilian Nasung AtuoyeEmail author
  • Roger Antabe
  • Yujiro Sano
  • Isaac Luginaah
  • Jason Bayne
Original Research


Income diversification is promoted as one of the key strategies to address food insecurity. While its impact on food security is extensively examined, knowledge of this relationship in a resource poor context experiencing environmental variability and climate change is sparse. We examined income diversification and household food insecurity in a deprived context in Ghana—the Upper West Region. Employing multivariate ordered logistic regression, we analyzed cross-sectional survey data collected on household heads (n = 1438) to explain the association between income diversification and household food insecurity. We found that household heads who reported being highly income diversified were more likely to report being severely food insecure (OR = 1.09, p ≤ 0.001). Also, poorer households compared to the richest, and those headed by widows compared to those headed by married people were more likely to report being severely food insecure. Although income diversification is a necessary strategy for survival in the Upper West Region, this alone does not seem to alleviate food insecurity in some families. Given that the region experiences high deprivation and negative effects of environmental variability, we recommend expansion of the non-farm sector to create job opportunities, while implementing a comprehensive national food security policy to address tithing problems of food production and distribution in the Upper West Region, and in similar context.


Food insecurity Income diversification Climate change Upper West Region Ghana 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11205_2019_2062_MOESM1_ESM.doc (40 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 40 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, Social Science CentreUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Sociology, Social Science CentreUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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