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University of Nairobi (2012)

Determinants of household food security in rural areas of Kenya : a case of Busia County, Kenya

Masita, Deborah Kemunto

Titre : Determinants of household food security in rural areas of Kenya : a case of Busia County, Kenya

Auteur : Masita, Deborah Kemunto

Université de soutenance : University of Nairobi

Grade : Master of Arts (MA) 2012

Achieving food security in its totality continues to be a not only for the developing nations, but also for the developed world. The difference lies in the magnitude of the problem in terms of its severity and proportion of the population affected. Food security remains precarious in Kenya particularly in rural areas of arid and semi-arid lands which are wlnerable to market and climatic shocks. Majority of the Kenyan population live in rural areas and depends on agriculture related activities for their livelihoods. The discrepancy in the results may be due to insufficient resource base, shorter duration of intervention, or different systen1s most of which are inherently heterogeneous among other factors. Food security is a relative concept defined as the access to food by all people at all time to have enough food for an active, productive and healthy life. Food security can be achieved when households produce enough staple food for their consumption or when they have enough income to meet their food need from market. Like many developing countries, Kenyan fanners in the rural areas predominantly practice subsistence farming and are often subject to food insecurity. The current study aims to identify the determinants in achieving food security at household level in Busia County, Western province of Kenya. The data was collected from both primary and secondary sources, A multi stage cluster sampling procedure was employed to select households from the Busia Households were selected using stratified sampling procedure proportional to size from the selected gots of the study area. A total of 210 households were interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire based interview schedule from seven divisions of Busia County. Study indicates that most farmers households in the rural do not have enough farm inputs in there farms, in that 64% of farmers not using fertilizer, thus leading to less crop production. Most of the households under rural areas doing farming have farm size of less than 2 hectares whereas less number of households bas 5 hectares of land, indicating that most fanners are small scale fanners who receive low crop production. Results of household size ranged between 4 to 6, showing that there was more consumption of food as compared a household size of 2. Thus research also indicates that the nmnber of crop yields per hectare is less as seen in Table 4.11 below shows the average yields produced by fanners from Busia County. Yield in this study was calculated by dividing total household production (cereals) by the number of hectares that were planted with grainlcereal crops. These factors are mostly influenced by the food security copping strategies followed by the households, their access to market and social networks. Thus, development policies designed for the Busia should target on enhancing these determinant variables of food secwity and on controlling family size and population growth to improve access to and size of land. Moreover, the government and non-government organization dealing with achieving food secmity in the Busia should emphasize on creating income generating activities so as to improve the purchasing power of households, enhance asset building mechanism, access to market and other social infrastructures.


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