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Socio-Economic Drivers of Food Security Among Rural Households in Nigeria: Evidence From Smallholder Maize Farmers

Issues relating to food availability, accessibility/affordability, and food utilization remain paramount among different stakeholders such as policymakers and academics. Using data from 250 maize farming households in Nigeria, the study used Foster–Greer–Thorbecke and probit regression model to investigate the factors determining households food security. The food insecurity measure shows that 23.2% points of the households express the incidence of food insecurity while 5.5% points and 1.8% points were found to have depth and severity of food insecurity, respectively. After controlling for households’ socio-economic and demographic characteristics, the probit regression model suggested that, among others, value of output sold, education, credit access and participation in government safety nets program significantly influenced food security among the maize farmers in the study area. Based on our findings, effort should be intensified to enhance the productivity of land through improved production practices. There should be high-level awareness that will increase farmers’ participation in safety net programs. Thus, government at all levels (local, state, and federal) should have adequate budget allocation to this course in order to improve the livelihood outcomes of the farming households.