The effect of improved storage innovations on food security and welfare in Ethiopia

Wondimagegn Tesfaye & Nyasha Tirivayi


Postharvest loss exacerbates the food insecurity and welfare loss of farming households in developing countries. This paper analyses the effect of improved storage, a climate-smart crop management technology, on household food and nutrition security, market participation and welfare using nationally representative data from Ethiopia. Endogenous switching regression models are employed to control for selection bias and unobserved heterogeneity. The results show that improved storage use is mainly associated with climatic factors, access to extension service, liquidity constraints, infrastructure and market access. Improved storage significantly increases the dietary diversity, reduces child malnutrition and negative changes in diet. In addition, use of improved storage technologies increases farmers' participation in output markets as sellers, the proportion of harvest sold and their marketing flexibility by altering the choice of market outlets. Further, the paper provides evidence that households that did not use improved storage would have benefited significantly had they decided to adopt. Overall, the study suggests that improved storage technologies are effective tools for risk coping and enhancing food security and would play a key role in the current debate of feeding a growing population in the face of climate change.

Keywords: storage economics; postharvest loss; food security; climate-smart technology; endogenous switching regression; Ethiopia.

JEL Classification: Q12, Q16, Q18, O33, D13