Spatial characteristics of consumer confidence and food security in secondary cities of Southern Africa

Authors: Jordan Blekking*, Indiana University, Kurt B Waldman, Indiana University, Erik Nelson, Indiana University, Tom P Evans, University of Arizona
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Human-Environment Geography, Africa
Keywords: food security, food systems, urban, Zambia, Southern Africa
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Congressional B, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Measuring urban food security in Southern Africa is a considerable challenge for two reasons. First, an established set of urban food security indicators does not yet exist. As a result, empirical studies often apply metrics developed for rural areas for use in urban centers. Second, urban food security outcomes are spatially heterogeneous throughout a city. This is particularly challenging for policymakers in the region, as spatial heterogeneity limits the ability of targeting particular residential areas for treatment. As a result of the void in the metrics available, this paper attempts to quantify urban food insecurity through the use of an urban consumer confidence index, based on socio-economic and food security perceptions. We compare model results from the consumer confidence index with scores from the widely used Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) through a geographically weighted regression. For this analysis we use survey data collected from 219 households in Monze, Zambia. We analyze the spatial heterogeneity of both the urban consumer confidence and HFIAS outcomes across Monze, as well as socio-economic opportunities available to urban residents. Through an alternative means of measuring urban livelihoods, of which food security is an important aspect, this research strengthens the existent literature, which states urban food security must be examined from a broader approach, rather than through caloric consumption or dietary diversity only.

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