Major issues in designing a research programme on household food insecurity
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Over the past decade, the economies in Southern African have experienced difficulties in meeting the food needs of their population. The reasons for household food insecurity include exogenous factors such as drought, high oil prices, and declining terms of trade for cash crops and raw materials; civil strife; lack of appropriate technology; poor performance of supporting research, credit, marketing and extension institutions; and inappropriate agricultural and macroeconomic policies. Morover, under conditions of rapid population growth, pressure is placed on the natural resource base—leading to resource degradation which threatens the sustainability of agriculture in future years (Eicher, 1986; Jayne, et. al., 1987). Due to these factors, the food security of many rural households throughout Southern Africa is at risk.