International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security

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Guidelines and Tools for Evaluating Household Food Security in Drylands,
North Kordofan-Sudan

Tarig E. Mahmoud

Gum Arabic Research Centre, University of Kordofan, Sudan


Food security means the ability to maintain the required and adequate food for all people for their activities and health. Food insecurity can be seen at geographical level and household level. North Kordofan State, like most of drought stricken areas in western Sudan, faces a number of complex and interacted problems such as environmental, socio-economical and political problems. Theses problems exhibit themselves in terms of resources degradation, shortage of potable water, lack of services and fluctuation in agricultural output. These deteriorate standard of living and increase poverty level among the population.
In spite of the huge natural resources bestowed upon the traditional agricultural sector, North Kordofan has experienced situations of food insecurity in some seasons. The present paper shows the most risky areas with regard to food availability and accessibility in the area.
In order to investigate the conditions that permit poor farm households output in the state, the causes of food insecurity were investigated. In this way of thinking, dimensions of food availability, accessibility, vulnerability, stability and sustainability were established. Having established these dimensions, the paper outlines some guidelines, tools and frameworks for evaluating determinants of household food security in the area. The guidelines can be used as a nucleus for establishing an efficient early warning system in such context.

Keywords: food insecurity, food availability, accessibility, vulnerability, stability, sustainability