An investigation of the factors that influence sustainable food production in Nyeri Central District
The current global food crisis has caused great concern and attention the world over, giving rise to a growing trend towards more sustainable agricultural practices. Researches about the sustainability of food production have so far not isolated key factors as obstacles to the issue. The major objective of the study was to investigate the factors that influence sustainable food production in Nyeri Central District, a major agricultural region in Kenya. The reviewed literature from related researchers assisted the researcher to identify the gaps in knowledge and to sharpen and deepen the conceptual framework of this study. The target population was a sample size of 357. Data was collected through structured questionnaires, observations and interview methods. The data was analyzed using Microsoft Excel and the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), from which bar charts and frequency tables were generated. The study findings showed that besides natural factors such as climatic conditions and population growth that hinder food sustenance, lack of access to farm inputs and credit, lack of technological innovations and above all, failure to set the minimum acreage for farming were the multitude of factors leading to unsustainability of food production in the district. However, lack of government policy was identified as the major setback towards a successful program design and implementation towards this worthy course. The result has been hunger and poverty in a district that is climatically well situated in matters of farming activities. This study recommended a greater harmonization between government agricultural policies, the agricultural extension officers and the farmers. It was also the researcher's conviction that arable land can be sustained by voluntary consolidation of household of heirs or neighbours' farms, and an immediate halt of extension of towns towards the agriculturally viable lands.