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Egerton University (2015)

Effects of selected factors on food security among small-scale farmers in Kakamega central sub-county, Kenya


Titre : Effects of selected factors on food security among small-scale farmers in Kakamega central sub-county, Kenya


Université de soutenance : Egerton University

Grade : Master of Science in Agricultural Extension 2015

Food security is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) one which for Kenya is relevant for eradicating poverty and hunger. Increased agricultural productivity would be solution to the world’s 870 Million (M) food insecure people. Approximately 10M people in Kenya, 51.45% of Western Kenya population and 50-70% of households in Kakamega County suffer chronic food insecurity. Small farm sizes, low yields, production shift from food crops to cash crops and low levels of skills and technological information in farming are considered the principal factors contributing to food insecurity among household heads without higher education and employment. The study therefore sought to investigate the effects of farm size allocated to food crops, sugarcane farming, type of improved maize varieties (IMV) used and education level on food security among small-scale farmers (SSFs) in Kakamega Central Sub-county. The study used a Cross Sectional Survey Research design. Multi-stage proportional-to-size sampling procedure was used to select a sample size of 96 SSFs in 5 locations and 13 sub-locations of Lurambi and Municipality divisions. A questionnaire was constructed and validated by two experts from Agricultural Education and Extension Department of Egerton University. A pilot test, using 30 subjects with similar characteristics from Butere Sub-county, indicated a reliability coefficient of at least 0.70 (Cronbach alpha) at 0.05 significance level indicating the instrument had acceptable reliability threshold. The farmers were mobilized and the researcher introduced by the agricultural extension officer in the area of study. The respondents’ informed consent was obtained from each respondent before they filled a questionnaire. The results were summarized using means frequencies and percentages and then analyzed using regression analysis. The study revealed that farm size allocated to food crops had a statistically significant effect on food security while the use of IMV, sugarcane farming and farmer education level were not. The IMV contributed 12.9%, farm size to food crops 12.1% , farmer education 8.2% and sugarcane farming 3.5% to food security respectively. It was concluded that higher farm size to food crops, use of IMV and higher education level are important for improved food security. The study recommends that farmers should always allocate higher proportion of their farm to food crops and use recommended IMV. The Ministry of Agriculture should always collaborate with stockists of farm inputs and research and extension service providers in order to increase the level of farmer awareness on the new and more yielding crop varieties that improve food security.


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