Food consumption and food security varies across the country
Despite being a relatively small country, Rwanda is diverse in livelihoods, food consumption, and food security.
We analyzed how food consumption varied across livelihood zones to identify geographic differences in food security using the 2012 and 2015 World Food Programme’s Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA).
A proxy for food security, the food consumption score (FCS) is based on dietary diversity, food frequency, and the relative nutritional importance of different food groups.
Food Security lags in the West
Households in the hilly west, where the soil tends to be volcanic and acidic and landholdings tend to be small, have some of the lowest food consumption scores in April/May 2015 during the minor lean season.
Conversely, households in the urban Kigali City region have significantly higher food consumption scores than the rest of the country.
City dwellers eat better, relative to average
Breaking the FCS down into component parts reveals substantial geographical differences in consumption patterns.
Are these differences explained primarily by the soil quality of the region?
What influences whether a household has better food consumption?
We ran regressions to test what attributes of a household were associated with higher or lower FCS.
Wealth, education, access, population pressures, and geography were all found to influence food consumption.
Defining Food Security is complex
Looking at a single snapshot in time, or a single indicator like FCS provides one perspective on food security. However, the issue is nuanced.
Regions with high seasonal and chronic food access issues also had some of the lowest FCS, indicating FCS approximates food security. However, not everywhere with low FCS scores had high food access issues - and visa versa. What other factors explain differences in food security?
The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) monitors regions of Rwanda for food insecurity events. The system focuses on emergency events -- a complement to the chronic issues monitored by FCS and food access.
How do these indicators contribute to a comprehensive view on food security?
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