Relating Seasonal Hunger and Prevention and Coping Strategies: A Panel Analysis of Malawian Farm Households
Relative to chronic hunger, seasonal hunger in rural and urban areas of Africa is poorly understood. This paper examines the extent and potential correlates of seasonal hunger in Malawi using panel data from 2011–2013. We find that both urban and rural households report seasonal hunger in the pre-harvest months. Certain strategies to smooth consumption, including crop storage and livestock ownership, are associated with fewer months of hunger. In addition, we find that Malawian households that experience seasonal hunger harvest their crops earlier than average–a short-term coping mechanism that can reduce the crop’s yield and nutritional value, possibly perpetuating hunger.
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