Effects of Gender Disparity on Enhancement of Household Food Security: A Case of Food/Cash-For-Assets Project in Kinango Sub County, Kwale County, Kenya
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. To achieve this, there is a growing recognition of the need to tap the potential of small scale farmers, a vast number of whom are women, mostly found in the rural areas. One glaring weakness in Kenyan agricultural policy is the omission of the pivotal role women play in the production of
... n the production of the nation's food supply. While Kenyan women only own one percent of the land they produce the vast majority of the food for their entire families nationwide, they receive less than seven percent of the farm extension services, less than ten percent of the credit given to small-scale farmers, and are generally undernourished, overworked, illiterate, and genuinely lack a voice in Kenyan society. Several food security projects have been implemented in Kinango sub county of Kwale County over the years, but these have registered very little success as the area continues to suffer from perennial food shortages. One of these projects is the WFP's protracted relief and recovery programme (PRRO). The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of gender disparity on enhancement of household food security in Kinango sub county, Kwale County. Specifically, the study endeavoured to investigate whether access to human capital, asset ownership and household decision making processes affect the enhancement of food security in the sub county. The methodology of the study was descriptive design which was used with cross-sectional survey methods. The total target population was 10,000 households from where a sample of 385 was obtained. 5 respondents were purposely selected from food security implementing agencies, making a total sample size of 390. Random sampling procedure was used to select the households within the villages which were a representative sample for generalization. A questionnaire for household heads was used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. The data was analyzed by descriptive statistics such as computing frequencies and ranking to check on the trends in preferences. Qualitative data was analyzed using SPSS and presented in bar-graphs, tables and charts. The study took approximately three months. www.iosrjournals.org 134 | Page Food security in Kwale county is determined by several factors including: the quality and quantity of both long and short rains, poor distribution of rains received (time and space), pests/rodents and livestock diseases, inappropriate land use and farming practises. Other factors include: low adoption of modern farming technologies for example, adoption of drought tolerance crops, high poverty levels, over reliance on maize as the staple food, over-dependence on rain fed agriculture, high cost of inputs such as fertilizers and humanwildlife conflict among others (NDMA, 2014). Vagaries of weather contribute to food insecurity in Kinango Sub County although the other factors discussed above are also important. When rains fail or are inadequate for crop and livestock, production yields from agricultural fields dwindle causing serious food shortages in the sub county. The Government of Kenya and its partners, including the World Food Programme, have made deliberate efforts to sustain lives and livelihoods through the provision of relief food or cash incentives to supplement household food needs. The World Food Programme plays a major role in this (KFSSG, 2013).