Agroforestry and Household Food Security Status among Small-Scale Farmers in Kubo South and Samburu Wards of Kwale County, Kenya
This study investigated the contributions of agroforestry to household food security in Kwale County. The study objectives were to determine the status of agroforestry, the status of household food security, and the relationship between agroforestry and household food security. Descriptive cross-sectional survey research design was applied, with multistage sampling procedure, which comprised of purposive and random sampling for selection of the study sites and respondents from different villages in Kubo south and Samburu wards, Kwale County. The sample size for the study comprised of 270 smallholders and 10 key informants. The study used a combination of instruments, namely, structured questionnaires, focus group discussions, observation, and interview schedules. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis were used to test relationship between agroforestry and household food security. The study found that 14.1 % were food secure, 2.96 % households mildly food insecure, 54.81 % were moderately food insecure and 27.41 % were severely food insecure. Majority of farmers practice agrosilvopastoral system of agroforestry due to the multiplicity of social, economic, and environmental benefits they derive from it. The results further indicated that challenges facing agroforestry farmers include poor access to credit, inadequate extension services, wildlife destruction, pests and diseases, and inadequate markets for agroforestry products. The study concludes that there is high level of food insecurity among smallholder farmers and recommends concerted efforts by county and national governments to intensify the practice of agroforestry, improvement of access to inputs for agroforestry, allocate more land for agroforestry practice, proper tree species selection, adoption of best agroforestry practices based on research, and suitable tree planting arrangements for improved household food security.
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