Spatial Dimensions of Food and Nutrition Security in the Northern Regions

Moses Yao Korbli


This study focused on analyzing the trend of food insecurity in the Northern regions of Ghana. It applied the GIS-based Multi-Criteria Evaluation approach to the criteria of rainfall, land cover, population density, road networks, slope, market centres, potable water access, access to sanitation facilities, and disaster and conflict hotspots. The Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) technique, was used to standardize a set of criteria for each of the four dimensions of food security (availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability) into an ordinary numeric scale after which those factors were accumulated via weighted averaging to determine a composite index for all the districts within the study area. The research found that the food insecurity situation is relatively high, as 174,509 people (6.3 percent) are moderately food insecure while 25,246 people (0.9 percent) are severely food insecure. Overall, 199,755 people, representing 7.2 percent of the population were food insecure (both severely and moderately food insecure). The proportion of the food insecure population was highest in the Tamale metropolis (37.2 percent) and lowest in the Zabzugu and Tatale Sanguli districts (0 percent). A correlation analysis also revealed that the composite food security index was mainly influenced by food utilization (0.75) and stability (0.64). Also, there was no significant relationship between Food stability and the other three dimension of food security (food availability, accessibility, and utilization), implying that it did not influence domestic food production or market access due to the short-term nature of its effect.

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