Determinants of Food Insecurity amongst Primary School Children through the Lens of Affected Parents and Teachers: The Case of Matobo District, Zimbabwe

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Nkululeko Joshua Ndiweni
Sadhana Manik

Abstract

Children from food insecure households tend to be vulnerable to diseases and miss school or fail to participate in school activities. This paper reports on the determinants of food insecurity amongst primary school children in southwestern Zimbabwe, a context where inadequate data presently exists. According to Chattopadhay (2000: 312), an explanation for Zimbabwe’s food insecurity can be understood using the entitlement framework by Amartya Sen (1981). Qualitative research using a case study research design was used. School administrators, teachers and parents of food insecure children were purposively selected. The tools were semi-structured interviews (28 in total) and focus group discussions (14 in total for the six schools that were sampled). The results show that the determinants of food insecurity amongst primary school children in Matobo district are multifaceted: social, economic and environmental and they tend to compound each other. Most households are vulnerable to food insecurity as a result of a loss or lack of physical, social, financial, natural and human assets. Additionally, poverty and climate change seem to be the major contributors of food insecurity in rural areas. The paper concludes by asserting that government can ensure food security in southern Zimbabwe by reviving existing irrigation schemes and supporting income generating projects at household level through training and the provision of start-up capital. There is also the need for non-governmental organizations to empower the local residents of Matobo district on the available options to germinate livelihood success and thus ensure future food security for their families.

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How to Cite
Ndiweni, N., & Manik, S. (2018). Determinants of Food Insecurity amongst Primary School Children through the Lens of Affected Parents and Teachers: The Case of Matobo District, Zimbabwe. Alternation Journal, (21), 203-233. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/1266
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