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|Advisor:||Vimala Kumari, M K|
|Title:||Extent of household food security of selected families of landless agricultrual labourers of Kalliyoor Panchayat - a case study|
|Publisher:||Department of Home Science, College of Agriculture, Vellayani|
|Abstract:||An investigation to assess the extent of household food security of selected fifteen families of landless agricultural labourers residing in Kalliyoor panchayat was undertaken in the form of a case study. The household food security was assessed through an enumeration of nature and quantities of foods purchased and used by these families as a means to assess availability as well as access, while the utilization was investigated through measurement of nutritional status of the subjects. A trial was also conducted to match the results obtained through the above analysis with food security analysis model suggested by USDA. The coping mechanisms adopted by these families to enhance food security or to overcome food insecurity were also evaluated adopting the indicators suggested by Chung et al. (1997) were suitably modified. As household food security is reported to be associated with the environment and situation in which these families reside, the social and economic conditions of the families, personal characteristics of the members of the families as well as the physical quality of their life were also enumerated. The presence of family risk factors were also identified with a view to understand whether such factors have any role in deciding household food security. The socio-economic survey revealed that 73.00 per cent of the subjects belonged to scheduled caste communities of Hindu religion. Except one, all families were of a nuclear type with an average family size of 3.7. Though only five families were reported to belong to BPL category the quality of life of these families when assessed using a ‘Rural Quality Life Index’ yardstick suggested by Dhanasekharan (1991), all except family no.2 and 7 were found to be non-poor. However no association was found between food security status and RQLI of these families (r=0.0638). Food being the direct component that decides household food security, the food availability and access data collected through, food purchase inventory surveys of one month duration, each revealed that except family no.9 others were not purchasing or procuring enough food needed to meet their requirement based on the recommended allowances for a balanced diet as suggested by Indian Council of Medical Research. The access to food when further analysed through weighment survey, confirmed the fact that none of the families were consuming an adequate diet required to maintain neither the food security nor nutritional status. The diet consumed by all the families were ill balanced, because they were found to consume an excess amount of fleshy foods (fish) and roots and tubers (about 20 to 40 times above RDA), coupled with a deficit intake of pulses, leafy vegetables, fats and oils, sugar and jaggery, fruits, milk and milk products. Despite of an excess consumption of fish when the average energy and protein adequacy of the families when computed (from the actual food intake data), it was seen that only two families (family no.10 and 14) had both calorie and protein adequacy. A visible dietary inadequacy with respect to vitamin A and riboflavin was noticed among 90.00 per cent of the population surveyed. While 33.33 and 26.66 per cent had ascorbic acid and fat deficiency respectively, their diets were not effective to meet even 50.00 per cent of the requirement. The nutritional status of the subjects when measured by anthropometry, clinical examination and haemoglobin estimation of the members of these families. It was observed that only 28.00 per cent were found to be optimally nourished based on anthropometric data. Here again the children seemed to be the most affected ones since only one child had normal height for weight among the 16 children examined. However there was no difference between boys and girls. Among the 40 adults, only 55.00 per cent were found to be normal based on anthropometry. However, drastic forms of under nutrition was not significant phenomena of these families since only 15.00 per cent had chronic energy deficiency among the adults. However, mild forms of B-complex deficiency and mottling of teeth and dental carries were noticed among 17.00 to 23.00 per cent of the subjects when clinically examined. Another salient observation was that anaemia was observed only among ten per cent of the adults though their diet was deficient in green leafy vegetables. Overall analysis of nutritional status of the individuals when assessed revealed that there was much difference between the families ultimately when the nutritional status index was developed, it was seen that there was no much difference between the families since it ranged from 9.9 to 12.3. When a (food security index) of different families were computed none could be designated as food secure since the values ranged from 61 to 22 against a total index value of 100. When the household food security was again measured using the food security hunger core module of USDA, it was seen that none of the families were ‘food secure’. This finding confirms the results obtained from the present study. The level of food security enjoyed by the families were found to be associated with the nutritional status of the family members (0.5262), but was not influenced by the quality of life enjoyed by them (0.0638). The major causes of food insecurity among the families surveyed were absence of land for cultivation, spending huge amounts for education of children or for providing dowry for grown up children as well as lack of nutrition education and inability to make use of the available resources to improve their level of food security. Most of the families were trying to maintain their level of food security through simple coping mechanisms such as, taking frequent small loans from non-formal sources, relying heavily on wage work, substituting inferior quality/low cost of staples, legumes and vegetables or going without these. In summary, the study revealed that none of the families have optimum level of food security when evaluated through their food availability, access and nutritional status of the members of the families.|
|Appears in Collections:||Theses|
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