Factors influencing food security in Isiolo County; a case of Isiolo Central Division, Isiolo County, Kenya
Ngugi, James K
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A household is defined to be food secure when it has access to the food needed for a healthy life for its members and when it is not at risk of losing such access. Food security is closely linked to poverty which is estimated at 46% nationally. 69% of the Isiolo county population lives below the poverty line and 60% of the population in central division is food insecure. This situation could be attributed to rising poverty levels where according to constituency level poverty estimates, Isiolo constituency contributed 0.3% to total National poverty and has a population of about 69% below poverty line (KNBS, 2005/06). This research was undertaken to study the determinants of food security. Knowledge of the determinants of food security in a particular region is useful for policy formulation. The research aimed to increase the general understanding of food security in order to improve the targeting of interventions to food insecure population sub groups and to facilitate the development of more effective interventions. The study targeted a sample size of 99 respondents out of which 79 responses were obtained representing an 80% response rate. Descriptive research design was used where state of affairs was described as they exist. Stratified random sampling was adopted where homogeneous sub groups were used from the population. The main research instruments employed were questionnaires. Data collected was mainly quantitative in nature and was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study concludes that household demographic characteristics affect food security in Isiolo County. The study also concludes that household income and consumption behaviour affect food security in Isiolo County. Majority of the households in Isiolo County earn between 5000-10000 shillings per month which is not sufficient to meet the basic needs. The study revealed that land use and management affect food security in Isiolo County. Most of the households in Isiolo County own land, while a smaller proportion of respondents do not own land. The study also deduced that livestock products' marketing affect food security in Isiolo County. This study therefore recommends that household members should get formal education in order to secure formal employment. The government should ensure proper use of communal land and provide the society in Isiolo County with farming equipments, irrigation technology and planting seeds so as to ensure food security. The government should also ensure that livestock keepers In Isiolo County get market information and training.