Research Article

Resilience to shocks and food insecurity: Determinants, and the impact of smallholder jatropha curcas cultivation in Southern Malawi


This paper studied household resilience to food insecurity, its determinants, and the impact of shocks on welfare in Southern Malawi. The resilience concept is evolving. A crucial issue in scholarly and policy space is how it is measured. This paper proposed an aggregated index measure and empirically tested it to study determinants as well as the impact of jatropha cultivation on resilience to food insecurity. The study used a unique cross-sectional dataset of 298 smallholders which included 100 jatropha cultivating farmers, collected using purposive and random sampling strategies. The resilience index was a good predictor of household welfare. Empirical evidence showed that shocks, various capital assets and institutional factors were significant determinants of resilience to food security. Jatropha cultivating farmers had less resilience capacity to food insecurity than their counterparts. The study did not find any evidence to support the notion that jatropha cultivation significantly influenced resilience to food insecurity.

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