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Moi University (2016)

Influence of Non-Farm activities in Poverty alleviation in Kathonzweni Sub-County, Makueni County-Kenya

Mutunga, Everlyn Vaati

Titre : Influence of Non-Farm activities in Poverty alleviation in Kathonzweni Sub-County, Makueni County-Kenya

Auteur : Mutunga, Everlyn Vaati

Université de soutenance : Moi University


Poverty has been a major challenge for development in the developing world. In Kenya, available statistics indicate that poverty has been getting severe as evidenced by the alarming rates of unemployment, food insecurity and the inability by a vast majority of the population to meet their basic needs. While various strategies have been employed to tackle the poverty menace, not much has been achieved, especially because such strategies have overrelied on agriculture as the main pathway out of poverty. Overreliance on rain fed agriculture and the worsening climate change conditions has seriously eroded the livelihoods of many farmers in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) thus rendering agriculture not only ineffective but also costly in addressing poverty. Thus, poverty alleviation, especially in the rural ASAL areas calls for diversification of the strategies employed in addressing the challenge. While there has been growing evidence world over indicating that the non-farm sector has enormous potential for reducing rural poverty, no tangible evidence has been presented in Kenya to that effect. This study, therefore, assessed the influence of non-farm activities on poverty alleviation in Kathonzweni sub-county in Makueni County. The study objectives were to : Analyse the level of poverty in Kathonzweni sub-county, assess the nature and types of non-farm activities and assess the effects of non-farm activities on poverty alleviation. The study was guided by the Sustainability Livelihood Framework propagated by the Department for International Development (DfID), which depicts how households navigate around capital assets and vulnerability contexts to choose sustainable livelihood options. A survey design was employed while purposive and multistage sampling techniques were used to determine a sample size of 313 respondents. Data collection was effected using a semi-structured questionnaire. Collected data was subjected to SPSS version 21 and analysed descriptively and inferentially and presented in tables and charts. The study established that poverty incidence in the study area was higher than the national average. Non-farm activities play an important role in reducing poverty as evidenced by the significant correlation (r = 0.873) between non-farm activity income and total household income. However, most of the non-farm activities were manual labour based and lowly remunerated, thus explaining the high prevalence of poverty despite many households participating in non-farm activities. Several factors were found to hinder the establishment of the non-farm sector. The study recommends a reduction of the entry barriers to non-farm activity engagement, especially enhancing training in non-farm activities. Future studies could examine the impacts of inequality brought about by engaging in non-farm activities.


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