Urban Agricultural and its role in ensuring food security in Nairobi
Nyoike, John K
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The need for urban centers to provide adequate food for a healthy and active labour force key to the development of any economy. In Kenyan urban centers and particularly Nairobi. the rapid growth of population has placed enormous Pressure on the residents in their endeavors to acquire some level of food security. With the observation that the root cause of urban food insecurity is poverty, the concept of food security in an urban context has shifted from being an issue of food availability to that of access. The urban poor have as a result have engaged in urban agriculture as a means of ensuring some level of food security for their households. This research paper presents an analysis on the role of urban agriculture as a strategy employed by the urban poor in ensuring food security for their households in Nairobi. The objectives of the study are; to investigate the extent to which urban agriculture in Nairobi affects household food security, in terms of reduced expenditure on the purchase of food and increased food availability as a result of agricultural production, to estimate the impact of urban agriculture on food security to urban households and to suggest policy options based on the findings. Data was collected using structured questionnaire and analyzed using Stata 8.0 data analyses computer software. The standard unitary household model was used to measure the household's decision in allocating household resources towards food requirement. Factors that may affect the household head's decision in allocating resources to rood such as age. sex. education and the household size were considered. The results show that indeed those households that engage in urban agriculture are more food secure and that households headed by a fen-ale head are more likely to be engaged in urban agriculture.