Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol 15, No 3 (2019)

Perceptions of Poverty between Food Secure and Food Insecure Households in Malawi

Hannah Mayamiko Dunga

Abstract


This article analyses the perceptions of poverty among the food secure and food insecure households in Malawi. Poverty remains a global challenge, and the feasibility of the first goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aims at eradicating poverty by 2030 may become farfetched if better approaches to dealing with this problem are not developed. Continued research on poverty is central to discovering better ways of reducing and eradicating poverty. One approach to understanding poverty and thus dealing with it is to understand the underlying causes and even the subjective perceptions of households, especially those in poverty. This study addresses poverty perceptions from the eyes of food secure and food insecure households in Malawi. It follows the perceptions framework developed by Feagin (1975) also known as the Feagin scale which classifies perceptions into three factors, namely individual, structural and fatalistic domains. The research uses data collected from 501 households drawn from the eastern district of the city of Zomba in Malawi. The results of the regression analysis reveal that different categories of households perceive that poverty is linked to an assortment of diverse causes. The main determinants of the perceptions of poverty that were statistically significant in the regression model were household size, food security status and the location (rural or urban) of the household. The results are important for approaching the compositions of intervention programs that should include civic education to develop a better understanding of the actual causes of poverty.


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