Influence of Relief food on Food security in Nguni Division of Mwingi East district, Kitui county, Kenya. The Case for FFA Programme
Mbindyo, Dominic M
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For Assets programme, on food security in Nguni division of Kitui County. The specific objectives were to: establish the influence of government relief food policy on household's food security in Nguni Division, establish the influence of agricultural practices on food security in Nguni division and establish the influence of FFA programme on food security in Nguni division. Literature was reviewed according to the research questions on government relief food policy, agricultural practices and the Food For Assets programme. The study adopted a descriptive survey design, which was used to obtain permanent and precise information concerning the current status of variables under investigation and generalisations from the facts observed. Data from the target population was collected from household's heads of 150 beneficiaries of relief food aid around the target area, Nguni division and 4 staffs of the lead cooperating partner distributing relief food and 6 government officers from different line ministries helping in the implementation of the project. Interviews were conducted concurrently with observations. Document analysis was done from the places where information was available including the lead cooperating partner. Data analysis was done using categorization and reports were based on emergent themes. Findings of the study were presented in percentages of the quantitative data collected. The study established that there was a gap between what the relief food provided and the food requirements at household level. In the study there was an identified gap between the government food policies in addressing the associated factors causing food insecurity at the rural levels. The study showed that low agricultural production would lead to food insecurity while the government policy failed short of addressing the core issues causing less agricultural production. The respondents 66% attested that they were doing subsistence farming as their main economic activity which could not provide enough food since Nguni is classified as an ASAL area with little rainfall and poor farming techniques. The study revealed that FFA strategies were creating assets in the community which contribute to their food security. The researcher concluded that many families were facing food insecurity in Nguni despite government and other agencies intervention in providing relief food. The reasons for food insecurity in Nguni were identified as insufficient rainfall, poor soils, lack of modem farming techniques among others. The study revealed that there was strong correlation between the FFA programme and food security and thus should be encouraged as an appropriate approach in food aid distribution. The study established there were other asset which could compliment the FFA programme, unconditional cash transfers and non-food items provision. The researcher recommended that the government should increase food distribution as a short term measure to address food insecurity and use other strategies such as increasing use drought tolerant crops, improved seeds, livestock keeping, modem farming techniques, soil and water conservation and mechanization of agriculture.