The Challenges of Food and Cash Transfers in Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Program: The case of Wachiga Busha and Humbo Larina Kebeles in Sodo Zuria Woreda, Wolayta Zone, SNNPR

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Addis Ababa University


This sludy al/empled 10 look in to the food security situation and the issues surrounding Productive Safety Net Program transfers in two case study Kebeles in Soda Zuria Woreda, WolaYla Zone, Soulh Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). The case study was conducted in Wachiga Busha and Humbo Larina PAs thaI receive food and cash transfers, respectively. The 'entitlement theory' was used as analytical framework to understand the challenges in cash and food transfers in Safety net programs. A total of 46 household heads (10 percent of the total beneficiary HH;) were selected for the structured interview using stratified random sampling technique. Besides these, separate men and women focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted. Sodo Zuria Woreda, in general, and the case study PAs, in particular, stiffer from chronicfood insecurity. More than 70 percent of the respondents in each of the two PAs reported to have covered only up to three months of their annual food consumption needs. Crop and livestock production are constrained by a number of factors ine/uding small and fragmented holdings, lack of plough oxen, soil degradation and etc. The PSNP, which was designed as a response to chronic food insecurity, has been active since JanuOlY 2005 transferring cash andfood resources to selected beneficiaries. At the inception of the program, the share of food transfers beneficiaries both at the national and Soda Zuria Woreda levels were much lower than that of the cash transfers. And, even the policy direction was to fiwther reduce and finally culminate with cash tramfers. However, the recent injiationOlY trends in the countly forced the government the other way - to shi/i from cash to food at least up to 50 percent levels. Though, the Program Implementation Manual laid the re;ponsibility to choose cash and lor food transfers On Woreda Food Security Task Forces, the actual praclice has been the Regional Food Security Coordination Bureau making such' decisions. It was learned that the Iype of transfers decisions is delicate and needs thorough analysis of different factors ine/uding market situation. The cash wage rate has been 6 birr per day, which, due to inflation, was going down in value or the bundle offood grains it can command. There is a strong need for flexibility in wage rates based on regular assessments of markets. On the other hand, the food transfer has been more gracious as the ration size was over what is stipulated in Ihe PIM Almoslthe entire food transfer benefiCiaries have been selling the food to traders and get more money than the cash recipients. Thus, all beneficiaries (both cash and food recipient;) prefer food tramfers more than cash. Irrespective of the fact that almost all the food aid is sold in the market, the prices of similar food items produced locally was not depressed. Two probable reasons were: the overall size of food aid has not been large enough to influence prices and the overwhelming majority of the food is sold out of the Woreda. Again two reasons could be mentioned for why the food transfers are being sold. First, the type of food being tramferred (e;pecially wheat) is quite different from the one the benefiCiaries are accustomed to consuming (maize) and second, the benefiCiaries are enticed by the relatively better price they get for sale of the food items. In relation to cost effectiveness, the current study confirms what other researches have cone/uded, aid shipped directly from the donor countries is not cost effective. Therefore, some of the study'S recommendations are consideration of family planning program as a component of food security in the target areas, jlexibility in the size of tI'ansfer, carefitl selection of basket offood items to synchronize with community food habits and untying of food aid. The Challenges of Food and Cash Transfers in Elhiopio 's PSNP



Ethiopia's Productive Safety