Household Food Insecurity and Coping Strategies in a Rural Community of West Bengal

Sanjit Sarkar, Chander Shekhar


This study aims to understand the depth of household food insecurity and elucidates the coping mechanisms opted by households. A cross sectional study was conducted among 485 households in rural setting of West Bengal. Findings revealed that only 20 per cent households were food secure, whereas 44 per cent categorised as ‘food insecure’, 30 per cent were ‘food insecure with hunger (moderately)’ and six per cent households identified as ‘food insecure with hunger (severe). Multivariate binary logistic regression model showed that education of head of the household, caste, source of income, MPCE status and availability of livestock were significantly associated with the household food security. The most common coping strategies opted by households were to consume less preferred and less expensive food (98%), followed by borrowed food from relatives (73%). Similarly, common livelihood coping mechanisms were use of past saving cash (95%) and reduction of spending on other expense (94%). In conclusion, the present study documents the depth of food insecurity in the study area and seeks attention of policy planners to address the issue through proper implementation of food safety based interventions.

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