THE INFLUENCE OF ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO SUSTAINABLE FOOD SECURITY IN KYUSO DISTRICT KITUI COUNTY
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This study is concerned with alternative approaches to sustainable food security in Kyuso
District-Kitui County. The objectives of the study includes; to establish how capacity building
and increase in grain production can be used as approaches to influence sustainable food security
in Kyuso district; to determine whether safe storage of grains and development of food grain
tolerant to drought can influence food security; to explore the extent to which Genetically
Modified Crops (GMCs) and dietary diversification have been used as approaches to food
security in Kyuso District; to find out whether gender sensitive development and good
governance can influence food security. The research design which was used was descriptive
while several sampling methods such as stratified, cluster, purposive and convenient were used.
Data was collected using a questionnaire which contained open as well as closed ended items.
An interview schedule was also used to obtain data from the agricultural officers and the NGOs
representatives who had been sampled. Descriptive statistical techniques were used to analyze
various items of the questionnaire. These included averages, percentages, frequencies and totals.
This study used frequencies and percentages because they easily communicate the research
findings to majority of readers.
The study found out that the alternative approaches which had been identified had influence on
sustainable food security in Kyuso District in that they increased food production, and
knowledge of producing the food for instance research and capacity building. It also found out
that though the approaches had influence on sustainability of food very few had been used to a
great extent in the region. For instance it was established that GMCs had not be implemented in
the District, dietary diversification was still poor because majority of the residents depended on
maize products for their food. The study also found out that food security in the region could be
attained by enhancing gender sensitive development which had not been attained in Kyuso.
The study thus recommends that; focus should be made towards ensuring that more awareness
creation concerning GMCs and their influence on food security is done in Kyuso district. There
is need for a lot of sensitization to be done on the alternative approaches as well as be
implemented in the region. Gender sensitive development should be enhanced by women being
educated on agricultural techniques, as well as increasing their literacy levels. Diet should be
diversified from over-reliance on maize crop to other food varieties that could do well in the area
as well as meat products such as fish products being introduced in the region. More agricultural
officers are needed to be deployed to the region which is big and vast hence the few officers
available are unable to reach majority of the farmers for capacity building and research work.
There was no agricultural research institute in the region and the study strongly recommends that
there is need for one to be established in the region. The study also recommends that the NGOs
should move from distributing relief food to the residents to focusing on alternative approaches,
particularly cash for assets and food for assets, to enhance resilience of the community to shocks
and hazards associated with climate change. The government can also start irrigation schemes to
increase food in the region since River Tana forms the boundary between the District and
neighboring Tharaka Nithi District and therefore water from the river could be accessed easily
for irrigation.