Food Security

, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 649–670 | Cite as

Food (In)security and its drivers: insights from trends and opportunities in rural Mozambique

  • Athur Mabiso
  • Benedito Cunguara
  • Rui Benfica
Original Paper


We used multiple rounds of nationally representative agricultural survey data to analyze the trends and drivers of food insecurity in rural Mozambique. Reduced-form Probit models were estimated to explain the observed trends as a function of underlying drivers and factors related to agricultural policy interventions. Despite rapid macroeconomic growth, food insecurity in the rural areas had increased from 42.9 % in 2002 to 47.8 % in 2008. Significant inequalities were also observed in the distribution of food insecurity with a substantial disadvantage to the bottom quintile households and rural households located in the Northern provinces. Limited progress on several drivers of agricultural production and food access as well as geographic disparities appear to explain a significant part of the food insecurity trends and distribution. Whether the indicator was use of improved farm inputs and technology, receipt of agricultural extension services, farm production, or cash income, progress did not occur. This implies that to achieve broad-based food security in rural Mozambique, interventions may need to focus on addressing these drivers to increase agricultural productivity while enhancing resilience to price and weather shocks. Interventions must also be spatially targeted and tailored to each segment of the population.


Rural food security Food policy Calorie consumption Rural Mozambique 


  1. Abdulai, A., Barrett, C., & Hazell, P. (2004). Food aid for market development in Sub-Saharan Africa. IFPRI DSGD discussion paper no. 5. Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  2. Alfani, F., Azzarri, C., d’Errico, M., & Molini, V. (2012). Poverty in Mozambique: new evidence from recent household surveys. Washington: World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 6217.Google Scholar
  3. Alfredo, A., Jonsson, N., Finch, T., Neves, L., Molloy, J., & Jorgensen, W. (2005). Serological survey of Babesia bovis and Anaplasma marginale in cattle in Tete Province, Mozambique. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 37(2), 121–131.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arndt, C., James, R., & Simler, K. (2006). Has economic growth in Mozambique been pro-poor? Journal of African Economies, 15(4), 571–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arndt, C., Benfica, R., Maximiano, N., Nucifora, A., & Thurlow, J. (2008). Higher fuel and food prices: impacts and responses for Mozambique. Agricultural Economics, 39, 497–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arndt, C., Hussain, M. A., Jones, E. S., Nhate, V., Tarp, F., & Thurlow, J. (2012). Explaining the evolution of poverty: the case of Mozambique. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 94(4), 854–872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Babatunde, R., Omotesho, O., & Sholotan, O. (2007). Factors influencing food security status of rural farming households in north central Nigeria. Agricultural Journal, 2(3), 351–357.Google Scholar
  8. Barrett, C. (2002). Food security and food assistance programs. In B. L. Garner & G. C. Rausser (Eds.), Handbook of agricultural economics, vol. 2 (pp. 2103–2190). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.Google Scholar
  9. Barrett, C. (2010). Measuring food insecurity. Science, 327(5967), 825–828.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Barrett, C., Reardon, T., & Webb, P. (2001). Non-farm income diversification and household livelihood strategies in rural Africa: concepts, dynamics, and policy implications. Food Policy, 26(4), 315–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Benfica, R. (1998). The Contribution of Micro and Small Enterprises to Rural Household Income in Mozambique. MS. Thesis. Michigan State University, Esat Lansing, Micigan.Google Scholar
  12. Benfica, R. (2012). An Analysis of Poverty in Cash Cropping Economies of Rural Mozambique: Blending Econometrics and Economy-wide Models. First Edition (Ed.) Saarbrucken: LAP - Lambert Academic Publishing.Google Scholar
  13. Benfica, R., Boughton, D., Mouzinho, B., & Uaiene, R. (2014). Food crop marketing and agricultural productivity in a high price environment: Evidence and implications for Mozambique. Maputo: Michigan State University.Google Scholar
  14. Boughton, D., Mather, D., Tschirley, D., Walker, T., Cunguara, B., & Payongayong, E. (2006). Changes in rural household income patterns in Mozambique 1996–2002 and implications for Agriculture’s contribution to poverty reduction. Maputo: MINAG Working Paper.Google Scholar
  15. Boughton, D., Mather, D., Barrett, C., Benfica, R., Abdula, D., Tschirley, D., & Cunguara, B. (2007). Market participation by rural households in a low-income country: an asset-based approach applied to Mozambique. Faith and Economics, 50, 64–101.Google Scholar
  16. Cafiero, C. 2012. Advances in hunger measurement: traditional FAO methods and recent innovations. Rome: FAO. Accessed December 8, 2012
  17. Carletto, C., Zezza, A. and Banerjee, R. (2012). Toward better measurement of household food security: harmonizing indicators and the role of household surveys. Global Food Security: 10.1016/j.gfs.2012.11.006
  18. Cunguara, B., & Darnhofer, I. (2011). Assessing the impact of improved agricultural technologies on household income in rural Mozambique. Food Policy, 36(3), 378–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cunguara, B., & Hanlon, J. (2012). Whose wealth is it anyway? Mozambique’s outstanding economic growth with worsening rural poverty. Development and Change, 43(3), 623–647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cunguara, B., & Moder, K. (2011). Is agricultural extension helping the poor? Evidence from rural Mozambique. Journal of African Economies, 20(4), 562–595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cunguara, B., Langyintuo, A., & Darnhofer, I. (2011). The role of nonfarm income in coping with the effects of drought in southern Mozambique. Agricultural Economics, 42(6), 701–713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Deaton, A. (1997). The analysis of household surveys. Washington: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Deolalikar, A., & Vijverberg, W. (1987). A test of heterogeneity of family and hired labour in Asian agriculture. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 49(3), 291–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dercon, S. (1998). Wealth, risk, and activity choice: cattle in western Tanzania. Journal of Development Economics, 55, 1–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Diogo, D., Amade, C., Paulo, A., & Sibrian, R. (2008). Deriving food security information from national household budget surveys: Experiences, achievements, challenges (pp. 35–44). Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  26. Donovan, C., & Tostão, E. (2010). Staple food prices in Mozambique. Prepared for the Comesa policy seminar on “Variation in staple food prices: Causes, consequence, and policy options”, held in Maputo, Mozambique, 25–26 January 2010.Google Scholar
  27. Ecker, O., & Breisinger, C. (2012). The food security system: A new conceptual framework. IFPRI discussion paper 01166. Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  28. EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit). (2012). Global food security index. Accessed August 17, 2012.
  29. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). (1996). Rome Declaration on World Food Security and World Food Summit Plan of Action. Accessed July 18, 2012.
  30. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). (2008). FAO Methodology for the measurement of food deprivation: updating the minimum dietary energy requirements. Rome: FAO Statistics Division.Google Scholar
  31. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). (2009). Declaration of the World Summit on Food Security. WSFS 2009/2. Rome, FAO.Google Scholar
  32. FAO, W. F. P., & IFAD. (2012). The state of food insecurity in the world 2012: Economic growth is necessary but not sufficient to accelerate reduction of hunger and malnutrition. Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  33. Garrett, J., & Ruel, M. (1999). Are determinants of rural and urban food security and nutritional status different? Some insights from Mozambique. World Development, 27(11), 1955–1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Government of Mozambique. (2006). Plano de Acção de Redução de Pobreza Absoluta 2006–2009. Maputo: Conselho de Ministros.Google Scholar
  35. Grupo de Estudo (Grupo de Estudo de Aprofundamento na área de Nutrição), (2009). Relatório de avaliação de impacto do PARPA II 2006-2009. Study as input to Impact Evaluation Report (RAI) of PARPA II, Maputo, at; Accessed July 25, 2010.
  36. Haggblade, S., Govereh, J., Nielson, H., Tschirley, D., & Dorosh, P. (2008). Regional trade in food staples: Prospects for simulating agricultural growth and moderating short-term food security crises in eastern and Southern Africa. Washington: A paper prepared for the World Bank.Google Scholar
  37. Headey, D., & Ecker, O. (2013). Rethinking the measurement of food security: from first principles to best practice. Food Security, 5(3), 327–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Heltberg, R., & Tarp, F. (2002). Agricultural supply response and poverty in Mozambique. Food Policy, 27, 103–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hoddinott, J. (1999). Choosing outcome indicators of household food security. Technical guide No. 7. Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  40. Howard, J., Crawford, E., Kelly, V., Demeke, M., & Jaime, J. J. (2003). Promoting high-input maize technologies in Africa: the Sasakawa-Global 2000 experience in Ethiopia and Mozambique. Food Policy, 28, 335–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. IMF. (2007). PARPA II (action plan for the reduction of absolute poverty 2006–2000). Republic of Mozambique: Poverty reduction strategy paper. Maputo: Government of the Republic of Mozambique.Google Scholar
  42. Joubert, A., & Tyson, P. (1996). Equilibrium and fully coupled GCM simulations of future southern African climates. Southern African Journal of Science, 92, 471–484.Google Scholar
  43. Korkalo, L., Hauta-aus, H., & Mutanen, M. (2011). Food composition tables for Mozambique, Version 2. Helsinki, Finland. Finland: Department of Food and environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki.Google Scholar
  44. Latif, A. A., & Pegram, R. G. (1992). Naturally acquired host resistance in tick control in Africa. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 13, 505–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mather, D. (2009). Measuring the impact of public and private assets on household crop income in rural Mozambique, 2002–2005. MINAG Working Paper n. 67E, Maputo, Mozambique.Google Scholar
  46. Mather, D., Boughton, D., & Cunguara, B. (2008). Household income and assets in rural Mozambique 2002–2005: Can pro-poor growth be sustained? MINAG Working Paper no. 66E, Maputo, Mozambique.Google Scholar
  47. Maxwell, S., & Frankenberger, T. (1992). Household food security: Concepts, indicators, measurements. Rome: IFAD and UNICEF.Google Scholar
  48. MPD (Mozambique Ministry of Planning and Development). (2010). Poverty and well-being in Mozambique: The third national assessment (2008–9). Maputo: Ministry of Planning and Development.Google Scholar
  49. MPF/IFPRI/PU (Mozambique Ministry of Planning and Finance/International Food Policy Research Institute/Purdue University). (2004). Poverty and well-being in Mozambique: the second national assessment (2002–3). Maputo, Mozambique.Google Scholar
  50. Norval, R., Fivaz, B., Lawrence, J., & Dailecourt, T. (1983). Epidemiology of tick-borne diseases of cattle in Zimbabwe I Babesiosis. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 15, 87–94.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pingali, P., Bigot, Y., & Binswanger, H. (1987). Agricultural mechanization and the evolution of farming systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Pitoro, R, Walker, T., Tschirley, D., Swinton, S., Boughton, D., & de Marrule, H. (2009). Can Bt technology reduce poverty among African cotton growers? An ex ante analysis of the private and social profitability of Bt cotton seed in Mozambique. Contributed Paper prepared for presentation at the International Association of Agricultural Economists’ Conference, Beijing, China, August 16–22, 2009.Google Scholar
  53. Polgreen, L. (2012). As coal boosts Mozambique, the rural poor are left behind. New York Times, November 10, 2012. = all
  54. Reardon, T. (1997). Using evidence of household income diversification to inform study of rural non-farm labor market in Africa. World Development, 25(5), 735–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Reardon, T., & Taylor, J. (1996). Agroclimac shock, income inequality, and poverty: evidence from Burkina Faso. World Development, 24(5), 901–914.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Riley, F., & Moock, N. (1995). Inventory of food security impact indicators. In food security indicators and framework: A handbook for monitoring and evaluation of food aid programs. Arlington: IMPACT.Google Scholar
  57. Ruel, M. (2003). Operationalizing dietary diversity: a review of measurement issues and research priorities. Journal of Nutrition, 133(11), 3911S–3926S.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Silva, J. A. (2008). A multilevel analysis of agricultural trade and socioeconomic inequality in rural Mozambique. The Professional Geographer, 60(2), 174–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Smith, L. C., & Subandoro, A. (2007). Measuring food security using household expenditure surveys. Food security in practice technical guide series. Washington: IFPRI.Google Scholar
  60. Stephens, E., & Barrett, C. (2008). Incomplete credit markets and commodity marketing behavior. Ithaca: Working Paper.Google Scholar
  61. Thurlow, J. (2012). Mozambique. In X. Diao, J. Thurlow, S. Benin, & S. Fan (Eds.), Strategies and priorities for African agriculture: economywide perspectives from country studies (pp. 349–370). Washington: IFPRI.Google Scholar
  62. Tostão, E., & Tschirley, D. (2010). On the role of government in food staples markets: Perspectives from recent research and implications for Mozambique. Flash series, volume 54e. East Lansing: Michigan State University.Google Scholar
  63. Tschirley, D., & Abdula, D. (2007). Toward improved maize marketing and trade policies to promote household food security in central and southern Mozambique: 2007 update. Prepared for workshop on trade policy for food products conducive to development in eastern and southern Africa, March 2007. Rome, FAO.Google Scholar
  64. Tschirley, D., & Jayne, T. S. (2010). Exploring the logic behind Southern Africa’s food crises. World Development, 38(1), 76–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Tschirley, D., & Weber, M. T. (1994). Food security strategies under extremely adverse conditions: the determinants of household income and consumption in rural Mozambique. World Development, 42(2), 159–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Tschirley, D., Donovan, C., & Weber, M. T. (1996). Food aid and food markets: lessons from Mozambique. Food Policy, 21(2), 189–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Usman, M., & Reason, C. (2004). Dry spell frequencies and their variability over southern Africa. Climate Research, 26, 199–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Walker, T., D. Tschirley, J. Low, M. Tanque, D. Boughton, E. Payongayong, & Weber, M. T. (2004). Determinants of Rural Income, Poverty and Perceived Well-Being in Mozambique in 2001–2002. MINAG Research Report No. 57E, Maputo, Mozambique.Google Scholar
  69. Webb, P., Coates, J., Frongillo, E. A., Rogers, B. L., Swindale, A., & Bilinsky, P. (2006). Measuring household food insecurity: Why it’s so important and yet so difficult to do? Journal of Nutrition, 136, 1404–1408.Google Scholar
  70. WFP (United Nations World Food Program). (2010). Mozambique Country Overview. Available at: Accessed on August 3, 2010
  71. World Bank. (2013). World Bank Databank. Available at: Accessed on November 3, 2013.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Food Policy Research InstituteWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Food and Resource EconomicsMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Personalised recommendations