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Food insecurity and coping strategies in semiarid areas: the case of Mvumi in central Tanzania
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
Responsible organisation
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study examines how people in dryland areas cope with food insecurity and adversities over time. It draws from the experience of the Gogo people living in Mvumi in the semiarid zone of central Tanzania, an area with a long history of food shortages. The study specifically examines the potential for dryland resources to sustain livelihoods. The study looks at the historical perspective of the problem in order to explore factors influencing the food situation in the area. It specifically investigates the role of local knowledge as a factor for adapting to dryland conditions by exploiting seasonality and local diversity. A detailed account is made of the coping strategies among three identified wealth groups in the area. Apart from their wealth levels, households in these wealth categories differ in how they mobilise and deal with labour in various seasons. Households in the well-off group have greater ability in mobilising and using external labour as well as accumulating and managing food surplus. The households in the intermediate group are flexible in utilising their own labour by performing various farm and non-farm activities according to their seasonalities. The households in the poor category sell their own labour and perform various farm and non-farm activities regardless of the season. It is clear from the study that different wealth groups differ in their ability to develop immediate coping into more pro-active livelihood strategies. The study winds up by assessing the potentials of the prominent land resource utilisation strategies in terms of economic, social and environmental perspectives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International , 2003. , 186 p.
Stockholm studies in human geography, ISSN 0349-7003 ; 11
Keyword [en]
Food insecurity, semiarid, local knowledge, seasonality, coping strategies, livelihood strategies.
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8057ISBN: 91-22-02009-8OAI: diva2:199500
Public defence
2003-03-21, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Frescati, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2003-02-20 Created: 2003-02-20 Last updated: 2012-10-03Bibliographically approved

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