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Research Paper | October 10, 2022

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An analysis of the factors contributing to food insecurity in Taita-Taveta County

Mwawuda Grace Wakesho, Mutembei Henry M’Ikiugu, Kilalo Dora

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.21(4), 57-69, October 2022

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Abstract

Food security remains a global challenge despite efforts to increase agricultural productivity and identify appropriate policy interventions to address food shortages. It is a major issue in Taita-Taveta (TT) County since the arid and semi-arid land covers approximately 84% of the county’s landmass with little arable area left for food production. The County is heavily influenced by the South Easterly winds except for the Taita hills, which are wetter, the rest of the land is dry. The study examined factors that contribute to food insecurity in TT County. A survey was carried out and used a descriptive design. A total of 240 farmers were selected using purposeful and simple random sampling methods in two sub-counties: Voi and Taita. They were interviewed using a formal survey with a structured questionnaire as a data collection tool. Data was collected and analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) in accordance with the study objective. The findings revealed that major factors contributing to food insecurity were climate change, inadequate rainfall, and natural disasters. Other factors were lack of access to land, lack of government support, and socio-cultural factors. The general perception was the existence of food insecurity, whose effect was perceived to be a rise in the cost of food, hunger, and high food crisis. The majority (64.6%) of farmers did not employ coping strategies, although they adopted local methods to avert the crisis. The land was mainly owned by men therefore women could not make decisions pertaining to long-term utilization leading to perennial food insecurity.

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An analysis of the factors contributing to food insecurity in Taita-Taveta County

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