Food insecurity is one of the development challenges of developing countries in general and Ethiopia in particular. In addition, despite the colossal effort that has been made by Ethiopian government to reduce food insecurity, the number of food insecure people are still significant in Ethiopia compared to Saharan African countries. Though many studies assessed the level and determinants of food insecurity, evidences on the level and determinants of resilience of households to food insecurity were undocumented in Ethiopia. Therefore, this study examined, the level and determinants of resilience of rural households to food insecurity in Southern Ethiopia using sample of 574 households, and principal component analysis. Structured questionnaires were used to collect primary data from sample households. Results indicated that the incidence, depth and severity of food insecurity were 68, 31 and 18 percent respectively in the study areas. The mean kilocalorie consumption at Chencha (humid), Kamba (arid) and Demba Gofa (semi-arid) districts were 1912, 1679 and 2554 Kcal per adult equivalent per day respectively. Results from principal component analysis showed that access to asset (land size, number of livestock and values of farm implements), adaptive capacity (education level, off farm participation and farmerâ€™s cooperative membership), and agricultural practices and technology (row planting, fertilizer uses and extension visits) are the primary factors which are positively related with householdâ€™s resilience to food insecurity in the study areas. In addition, the determinants of resilience of households vary by ecological zones. For instance, resilience of household in Demba Gofa district depends on access to asset, and access to food and income while resilience of household in Chencha district mainly depends on adaptive capacity. The average resilience of households to food insecurity in Kamba (arid) district was lower than the average resilience of households in Demba Gofa (semi-arid) and Chencha (humid) districts. This showed that households in arid areas are less resilient compared to households in humid and semi-arid areas. In the same vein, resilience of household in Kamba district depends mainly on agricultural practice and stability. Hence, increasing householdsâ€™ access to assets, adaptive capacity and better agricultural practices and technology would build resilience of rural households in the study areas.
Keywords: Resilience; Food insecurity; Principal Component Analysis; Vulnerability; Ethiopia.