The impact of remittances on household food security: A micro perspective from Tigray, Ethiopia
This working paper (PDF) by UNU-WIDER examines the impact of remittances on farm household’s food security status, using a sample of 301 farm households from two livelihood zones of the Tigray Regional State of Ethiopia. To investigate the impact of remittances, different indicators were used to measure food security : the coping strategy index (CSI) and the reduced coping strategy index (rCSI) tend to capture the element of quantity or sufficiency, the household food security access scale (HFIAS) captures a mix of sufficiency and physiological factors. Descriptive analysis indicates that remittance-receiving households are better of in terms of mean total CIS ,rCSI and HFIAS compared to non-receiving households. Results also show that remittances exert a positive and statistically significant effect on household food security indicators i.e. households with access to remittance have lower CSI, rCSI and HFIAS as compared to households without remittance income. So, the findings of the study suggest that remittances lower the frequency and severity of coping strategies. Furthermore, households with remittance have: 1) lower anxiety about not being able to procure sufficient food; 2) higher ability to secure adequate quality food; and 3) lower experience of insufficient quantity of food intake than those without remittance. These findings are generally consistent with the widely held view that remittance provides food security and poverty alleviation in rural areas of developing countries. Two policy recommendations have come out of this. First, the positive impact of remittance makes it imperative to include migration and remittances as important components of food security programs and food security policies in developing countries, such as Ethiopia. Second, governments should go beyond just food production measure, and include measures that help in generating adequate levels of effective demand via income growth or transfers policies.