A comparative analysis of alternative food security indicators, using farm workers in the Northern Cape Province as a case study
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The concept of food insecurity is complex and difficult to measure. Food insecurity is measured at different levels – global, national, household and individual. In order to have appropriate assessments of food security status, it is important to use the correct measure. This study focused on explaining three major indicators of household food security in measuring the different dimensions of food security (availability, access, utilization and stability). The contribution of this study is to add to the literature and determine how appropriately different indicators measure food security. The study explored the relationship between the three alternative indicators of food security by comparing them, using data collected on farm workers in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. From the results of the study, it was concluded that most of the surveyed farm workers in the Northern Cape Province are food insecure. This conclusion was arrived at because of two indicators. The Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) reported 42.8% of farm workers as severely food insecure; 42.8% as moderately food insecure; and 13.9% as mildly food insecure. The Coping Strategies Index (CSI) reported 56.2% of farm workers as food insecure. The Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) reported a higher dietary diversity in farm workers (71.8%).