Food security among male and female-headed households in Eden District Municipality of the Western Cape, South Africa
The study presented food security situation among farming male and female headed households in Eden District Municipality of the Western Cape, South Africa was conducted in 2010. The study was conducted among 31 male and 19 female headed farming household heads, selected proportionate to the size of each group. The household heads were selected via simple random sampling procedure. Data for the study were elicited from the respondents using structured questionnaire. The analytical tools used include the Mann-Whitney test to determine if a difference in food security exists among the two groups, a Wilcoxon test was used as an alternative for indicating the differences in food security. Frequency tables indicated the percentage distribution of respondents based on demographic characteristics. Out of the 12 food security constraints identified, both males and females viewed poor storage, poor market, and lack of credit and land tenure as the constraints that highly affect their household food security. The result showed that 58 percent of the females were between 41-50 years and 42 percent of the males were above fifty years of age. The percentage of male headed households that studied up to college level (16.1) was slightly higher than those of females (15.8). Most of the household heads had between 2 to four years farming experience (77.4 males and 64.4 females respectively). with 90.3 males farming on 3 to 4 hectors and females on 78.9 hector. Most of the farn1ers do not have any co-operative or farmer society. A significant difference existed in their food security status (Z =2.115, p 0.34), with higher mean rank for males (28.44) than for females (20.71). This confirms that food insecurity incidence was higher in female headed households than male headed households.