Sustainability Science

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 193–214

Investigating the sensitivity of household food security to agriculture-related shocks and the implication of social and natural capital

  • Byela Tibesigwa
  • Martine Visser
  • Mark Collinson
  • Wayne Twine
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11625-015-0332-6

Cite this article as:
Tibesigwa, B., Visser, M., Collinson, M. et al. Sustain Sci (2016) 11: 193. doi:10.1007/s11625-015-0332-6
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Climate Change Mitigation, Adaption, and Resilience


This paper examines the impact of agriculture-related shocks on consumption patterns of rural farming households using 3 years of data from South Africa. We make two key observations. First, agriculture-related shocks reduce households’ consumption. Second, natural resources and informal social capital somewhat counteract this reduction and sustain dietary requirements. In general, our findings suggest the promotion of informal social capital and natural resources as they are cheaper and more accessible coping strategies, in comparison to, for example, insurance, which remains unaffordable in most rural parts of sub-Saharan Africa. However, a lingering concern centres on the sustainability of these less conventional adaptation strategies.


Food security Natural capital Social capital Weather-related crop failure 

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Byela Tibesigwa
    • 1
  • Martine Visser
    • 1
  • Mark Collinson
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wayne Twine
    • 4
  1. 1.Environmental-Economics Policy Research Unit, School of EconomicsUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.MRC/Wits University Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.INDEPTH NetworkAccraGhana
  4. 4.School of Animal, Plant and Environmental SciencesUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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