Strategic responses to challenges in implementation of food insecurity strategies by Makueni county government
The main purpose of this study was to establish strategic responses to challenges of implementation of food insecurity in Makueni County in Kenya. The study sought to achieve two specific objectives: to establish the challenges to implementation of food security strategies in Makueni County and to determine the strategic responses to the challenges in implementation of food security in Makueni County. The study took the form of a case study since there was need to conduct an in-depth investigation. Primary data was collected from five ministry of agriculture senior management employees based at the County Headquarters. The study findings reveal that the high population in the county has put pressure on the existing resources including land. There is high demand for residential space at the expense of agricultural activity. The high population has also led to deforestation as people depend on firewood and charcoal for cooking and heating. As a result water catchment areas are now destroyed and lack of water is such a great challenge contributing to food insecurity in the county. There is also the issue of soil erosion that renders the soils deficient of the required plant nutrients and lowers agricultural productivity. Over reliance on maize and beans has made it impossible to achieve food security since these crops are less drought resistant. Dependence on rain fed agriculture is perhaps the main cause of food insecurity since climatic conditions have changed and rain patterns are not predictable and reliable. It was further revealed that the strategic responses adopted to overcome these challenges include harvesting of rain water by constructing sand dams, exploiting other ways of expanding agricultural activity through irrigation, reversing the rapid population growth rate through provision of family planning education to people, diversification of crops to ensure that farmers plant crops that are more drought resistant, livestock diseases surveillance and vaccination as well as livestock improvement.