The Role of Social Capital in Rural Household Food Security: The Case Study of Dowa and Lilongwe Districts in Central Malawi

Joseph Dzanja (Lead / Corresponding author), Mike Christie, Ioan Fazey, Tony Hyde

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Abstract

This article explores the contribution of social capital on the rural household food security. Social capital is the ability of community actors to secure benefits by virtue of membership in social networks or other structures. In the past decade, consensus has emerged among scholars and practitioners of development that social capital can contribute significantly to the alleviation of poverty. Food insecurity is an indicator of poverty. This article therefore takes this view by investigating the impact of social capital on the food security situation of rural people in developing countries, using the case study of Malawi in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using household survey data, different social capital variables were incorporated into the household social welfare model, controlled by human capital, physical capital, household and geographical characteristics in order to test the linkage between social capital and rural household food security situation in the context of a developing country. Household food security status was improved by membership to farmers' organizations, household network size and engagement in voluntary activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-176
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Agricultural Science
Volume7
Issue number12
Early online date15 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • social capital
  • food security
  • developing countries
  • rural household

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