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International Journal of Food Science
Volume 2014, Article ID 121269, 8 pages
Research Article

Determining Food Insecurity: An Application of the Rasch Model with Household Survey Data in Uganda

1School of Statistics and Planning, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
2Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda

Received 29 September 2014; Revised 28 November 2014; Accepted 8 December 2014; Published 29 December 2014

Academic Editor: Elad Tako

Copyright © 2014 Abraham Owino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The inexplicable nature of food insecurity in parts of Uganda and worldwide necessitated an investigation into the nature, extent, and differentials of household food security. The main objective of this study was to examine the food security dynamics and model household food insecurity. The Rasch modelling approach was employed on a dataset from a sample of 1175 (Tororo = 577; Busia = 598) randomly selected households in the year 2010. All households provided responses to the food security questions and none was omitted from the analysis. At 5 percent level of significance the analysis indicated that Tororo district average food security assessment (0.137 ± 0.181) was lower than that for Busia district (0.768 ± 0.177). All the mean square fit statistics were in the range of 0.5 to 1.5, and none of them showed any signs of distortion, degradation, or less productivity for measurement. This confirmed that items used in this study were very productive for measurement of food security in the study area. The study recommends further analysis where item responses are ordered polytomous rather than the dichotomous item response functions used. Furthermore, consideration should be given to fit models that allow for different latent distributions for households with children and those without children and possibly other subgroups of respondents.