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Household Food Security in Commercialized Subsistence Economies: Factors Influencing Dietary Diversity of Smallholder Tea Farmers in Nandi South, Kenya

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  • Langat, B.K.
  • Sulo, T.K.
  • Nyangweso, P.M.
  • Ngeno, V.K.
  • Korir, M.K.
  • Kipsat, Mary J.
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    Abstract

    Policies fronting commercialization of agriculture in Kenya assumed that realization of increased household incomes, through cultivation of cash crops, would guarantee improved food security and subsequent reduction of poverty. However, most communities in Kenya growing cash crops are currently struggling to put food on the table. Nandi South is a maize deficit zone despite being 68% arable and having good climate (GoK, 2005). Population pressure has led to competition for limited land resource, coupled with unfavourable poverty indicators; they have impacted negatively on food access in the district. Specifically significant is smallholder tea population in Nandi Hills division. The study focused the population of smallholder tea farmers in Nandi South who supply their tea leaves to the Multinational tea estates. The main objective was to investigate the factors influencing households’ food security among smallholder tea farmers in Nandi South. A modified Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) was used to model food demand of the smallholder households. Multi-stage proportional-to-size cluster sampling was used to sample 180 households. Data was collected using both questionnaires and interviews. Results point out that income, savings, food storage, land productivity, off-farm income, ratio of land allocated to tea significantly influence household food security. Policies that aim at improving household food security among smallholder cash crop farmers should target at increasing and diversifying household income sources and farm enterprises, provision of saving opportunities, storage facilities and proper allocation of land resource between cash crops and food crops.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) & Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA) in its series 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa with number 97086.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaae10:97086

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    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

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    1. Govereh, Jones & Jayne, T. S., 2003. "Cash cropping and food crop productivity: synergies or trade-offs?," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 39-50, January.
    2. Maxwell, Simon & Fernando, Adrian, 1989. "Cash crops in developing countries: The issues, the facts, the policies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(11), pages 1677-1708, November.
    3. von Braun, Joachim & Haen, Hartwig de & Blanken, Juergen, 1991. "Commercialization of agriculture under population pressure: effects on production, and nutrition in Rwanda," Research reports 85, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Kennedy, Eileen & Cogill, Bruce, 1988. "The commercialization of agriculture and household-level food security: The case of Southwestern Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(9), pages 1075-1081, September.
    5. Maxwell, Daniel & Ahiadeke, Clement & Levin, Carol & Armar-Klemesu, Margaret & Zakariah, Sawudatu & Lamptey, Grace Mary, 1999. "Alternative food-security indicators: revisiting the frequency and severity of 'coping strategies'," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 411-429, August.
    6. von Braun, Joachim, 1995. "Agricultural commercialization: impacts on income and nutrition and implications for policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 187-202, June.
    7. Gladwin, Christina H. & Thomson, Anne M. & Peterson, Jennifer S. & Anderson, Andrea S., 2001. "Addressing food security in Africa via multiple livelihood strategies of women farmers," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 177-207, April.
    8. R. Kaplinsky, 2000. "Globalisation and Unequalisation: What Can Be Learned from Value Chain Analysis?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 117-146.
    9. Immink, Maarten D C & Alarcon, Jorge A, 1993. "Household Income, Food Availability, and Commercial Crop Production by Smallholder Farmers in the Western Highlands of Guatemala," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 319-42, January.
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