Enhancing Household Livelihood Outcomes through Resilient Agri-Food Systems among Small-scale farmers in Kitui County, Kenya
The practice of resilient agri-food systems, especially in arid and semi-arid areas, is considered key to attaining sustainable livelihoods. Changes in climatic conditions have forced small-scale farmers to develop adaptive capacities related to food security. This study was done in Nguni ward Kitui County involving 246 small-scale farmers, two focus groups discussion, and four key informants. The sampled participants had practiced resilient agri-food systems for the last five years from the time of data collection. A gender dynamic was established after 71.5% of the respondents were found to be female and 28.5% male. More females practiced resilient agri-food systems but did not own productive assets like land. A statistically significant relationship between resilient agri-food systems and household livelihood outcomes was determined where the probability value was less at a 95% confidence level (0.01<0.05). Further analysis showed a positive association between household income and sex χ2=9.551 where p (0.008) was less than 0.05. In conclusion, resilient agri-food systems practices such as conservation agriculture positively influence the household livelihood outcomes like diversification of livelihoods, reduced prevalence of human, crop, and livestock diseases, and improved ability to cope with shocks and trends. The study recommends the provision of incentives, insurance, and social safety nets to encourage small-scale farmers to practice resilient agri-food systems.
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