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2015-07-16 | Discussion Paper

Small-scale Subsistence Farming, Food Security, Climate Change and Adaptation in South Africa: Male-Female Headed Households and Urban-Rural Nexus

Tibesigwa, Byela and Martine Visser. 2015. “Small-scale Subsistence Farming, Food Security, Climate Change and Adaptation in South Africa: Male-Female Headed Households and Urban-Rural Nexus” ERSA working paper 527
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This study examines the role of gender of the head of household on the
food security of small-scale subsistence farmers in urban and rural areas of
South Africa, using the exogenous switching treatment-effects regression
framework.

Our results show that agriculture contributes to food security
of female-headed more than male-headed households, especially in rural
areas. We also observe that male-headed households are more food secure
compared to female-headed households, and this is mainly driven by differences
in off-farm labour participation. We further observe that the food
security gap between male- and female-headed households is wider in rural
than in urban areas, where rural male- and female-headed households are
more likely to report chronic food insecurity, i.e., are more likely to experience
hunger than their urban counterparts. Our results suggest that the
current policy interest in promoting rural and urban agriculture is likely
to increase food security in both male- and female-headed household, and
reduce the gender gap.