Green Environment-Social Protection Interaction and Food Security in Africa

Expanding food production to commensurate with population growth has often come at a cost resulting from environmental problems. Industries generate pollutants that destroy the environment and negatively affect the level of food security. These trends threaten the sustainability of food systems and undermine the capacity to meet food security needs. Against this backdrop, this study examines how the green environment influences food security in Africa. To further articulate the novelty and contributions of the research to the extant literature, the study also examines the interaction effect of the green environment and social protection on food security. The study engaged panel data consisting of 37 African countries listed in the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank. The data was sourced from Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) and the World Development Indicators (WDI) for the period 2005 to 2019 and applied the system Generalised Method of Moments (SGMM). The result shows that a green environment and social protection are statistically significant and positively determine the level of food security in Africa. In addition, the result shows that a green environment and social protection interaction positively and significantly influence food security. The implication is that a 1% increase in the drive for a green environment may improve the level of food security by 0.8%. Also, increases in the level of social protection intervention may increase food security by 1.2%. The interaction between social protection and food security can increase food security by 0.96%. In summary, it is found that African countries under study have moderate social protection coverage and policy for environmental management and sustainability required to drive food security. The discussions of the findings and policy implications of the study are underscored in the paper.