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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Drought and Survival in Rural Namibia
Authors:Devereux, StephenISNI
Naeraa, TrineISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Namibia
agricultural workers
food policy
Drought and Desertification
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637312
Abstract:This paper examines the impact of the 1992/1993 drought on three vulnerable socioeconomic groups in Namibia: smallholder crop farmers, livestock rearers and commercial farmworkers. A modified entitlement framework is adopted: as well as examining entitlement-generating strategies (including credit), the paper also considers 'indirect' entitlement-protecting strategies, such as dietary change, consumption rationing and demographic adjustments at the household level. Although Namibia did not experience a decline in aggregate food availability during the drought, hunger and malnutrition did affect certain groups who suffered 'direct entitlement declines' (crop farmers), 'trade entitlement declines' (livestock rearers) or 'derived destitution' (farmworkers), and were unable to secure adequate food through alternative sources such as extended family support, credit or food aid. Namibia's experience confirms the dangers of supply-side analyses of food security. When the composition of a country's food supply changes dramatically, there are likely to be some groups whose food security is negatively affected because they cannot be guaranteed access to available food, even when supplies are sufficient in aggregate terms. The paper is based on fieldwork data gathered during the crisis. Notes, ref.