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Title:A network analysis of household food sharing in Zambia
Author(s):von Gnechten, Rachel Marie
Advisor(s):Konar, Megan
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):food sharing
household sharing
food security
Sub-Saharan Africa
Abstract:Current and future food security are threatened by impending population growth, increasing demand for resource intensive foods, and climate change. Coping strategies at various scales have been proposed to help food security. One potential strategy is household sharing. Household sharing is an important part of current smallholder food systems. However, we do not currently understand the full social network of sharing in a village. To this end, we evaluate the full network structure of two villages in Zambia: one within biking distance to a food market on a tarmac road, the other within walking distance to a food market off a tarmac road. Both villages are fairly isolated and consist of roughly 50 households. The seasonal food, maize, livestock, non-food, and labor sharing practices from the agricultural year 2017-2018 are analyzed via household surveys. The general network properties of the villages are analyzed at an annual and seasonal time scale revealing seasonal fluctuations in sharing. The impact of a household’s network properties on its food consumption score (FCS) are studied to see how access to a sharing network impacts household food security. Our study shows that the presence of a household sharing network appears to have no statistically significant impact on household food security. Additionally, we show that the classic gravity model of trade is applicable at the household level, which means that prediction of household food sharing can be accomplished with household income and geographic distance variables. To our knowledge, this is the first study that determines the applicability of the gravity model of trade for this scale. These results highlight the important and efficient role that sharing may play in future food security strategies and indicate a powerful tool to predict household level food sharing.
Issue Date:2019-04-23
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Rachel von Gnechten
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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