Dynamics of the impacts of HIV/AIDS disease-related prime-age morbidity and mortality on rural farm households in Zambia
Shipekesa, Aurther Mbasela
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The impacts of HIV/AIDS disease-related Prime age (15-59 years) morbidity and mortality and the corollary dynamism among the five facets of rural welfare in Zambia pose detrimental outcomes to small-holder rural farmers. The study examines the short and long run dynamics of the impacts of morbidity and mortality due to HIV/AIDS disease-related on household composition, total cultivated land, value of crop production, value of productive assets and household income for a period extending from three years ex ante mortality and five years ex post mortality. A nationally representative panel data of 4,286 rural farm households surveyed in Zambia between 2001 and 2008 is utilized. By incorporating dip-drop-recovery modelling of the dynamics in fixed effects models, the study highlights four major findings over the five household outcomes. First, the dip-drop effect of prime-age mortality is predominantly negative and begins to emerge significantly in the second year prior to death. Second, mortality impacts are dynamic and persistent over time. Third, households seem to strive to cope and adjust with prime-age mortality as shown by the positive recovery path. However, this path is not commensurate and equal in magnitude with the dip-drop negative effects leaving a number of households vulnerable. Fourth, there exists differential impacts by gender and position of the deceased household member. Reduction in household size, disposal of assets and participation in off-farm income generation are cardinal coping strategies observed. Hence, early and targeted welfare assistance to curb instinctive migration, reduction in area cultivated and disposal of assets becomes critical for mitigation and poverty reduction strategies.