An Empirical Analysis on Food Insecurity in Sri Lanka

  • N. P. Ravindra Deyshappriya Senior Lecturer in Economics, Faculty of Management, Uva Wellassa University. Badulla, Sri Lanka. PhD Candidate, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
Keywords: calorie intake, economic growth, food insecurity, minimum dietary energy requirment, poverty


This study examines incidence of food insecurity in Sri Lanka along with its household determinants. The study found that 41.9% of Sri Lankan households are food insecure while 59% of households in Colombo district where the highest food insecurity is reported, are below the Minimum Dietary Energy Requirement (MDER). Food insecurity in urban sector is significantly higher than the rest of the country, as urban people mainly consume prepared and instant foods. The deep classification of food insecurity observed that 1.9% of households are extremely food insecure while 42.2% are vulnerable to food insecure. Furthermore, the impact of growth on reduction in food insecurity is significantly low, despite growth remarkably reduces poverty. The econometric analysis confirms that higher assets level, being a male-headed household, higher level of education, employed in government, semi-government sectors and being a self –employer and having agricultural lands significantly reduce the probabilities of falling into extremely and moderately food insecure. Therefore, the study recommends ensuring better employment opportunities, higher educational attainments along with safety nets for vulnerable groups such as female-headed households in order to achieve food security. Furthermore, urban-based food insecurity should be addressed by encouraging urban people to have energy rich staples rather than relying on prepared foods.

How to Cite
Deyshappriya, N. P. (2019). An Empirical Analysis on Food Insecurity in Sri Lanka. Empirical Economic Review, 2(2), 81-105.