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Egerton University (2020)

Gender food insecurity perceptions and effect of sustainable agricultural intensification practices on household vulnerability to poverty in western and eastern Kenya

Lutomia, Cosmas Kweyu

Titre : Gender food insecurity perceptions and effect of sustainable agricultural intensification practices on household vulnerability to poverty in western and eastern Kenya

Auteur : Lutomia, Cosmas Kweyu

Université de soutenance : Egerton University

Grade : Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics 2020

Résumé
While number of studies focusing on the effect of technology adoption on alleviating rural poverty is increasing, much remains unclear about effects of shocks and Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Practices (SAIPs) on household vulnerability to poverty. Furthermore, most literature focuses on household food security without adequately capturing determinants of gender perceptions of food insecurity. Therefore, the study estimated the effects of shocks and SAIPs on household vulnerability to poverty and analysed determinants of differences in gender food insecurity perceptions. Three waves of panel data collected by the Adoption Pathways (AP) project in 2011, 2013, and 2015 from 613 households in Bungoma and Siaya counties in western Kenya and Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Embu counties in eastern Kenya were used. The fixed effects (FE) and generalized random effects (RE) ordered probit models were used for inferential data analyses. Descriptive results showed that while 33% and 28% of female respondents indicated that their households were food secure and severely food insecure across panels, about 30% and 26% of male respondents perceived their household as food secure and severely food insecure respectively. Additionally, 61% of the households were vulnerable to poverty across the panels. The generalized RE ordered probit estimates showed that whereas education level of household head and participation in rural institutions were negatively and positively associated, respectively, with female perceptions of household food insecurity, they were insignificant with respect to male perceptions of household food security. The FE results show that household size, dependency ratio, sickness, drought, and large increase in food and input prices were positively associated with household vulnerability to poverty. In contrast, education stock, SAIPs, and off-farm income reduced vulnerability. These results provide evidence that shocks exacerbate household poverty, while SAIPs improves household resilience and reduced vulnerability to poverty. Therefore, policy interventions should aim to increase the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers against shocks through adoption of multiple SAIPs. In addition, gender policy should focus on strengthening gender capacities in household and farm and off-farm activities in order to improve the contribution of men and women in safeguarding food security. Future research should focus on establishing the cause-effect relationships among SAIPs adoption and multi-dimensional food security and vulnerability to poverty.

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