The Role of Household Characteristics in Determining Food Security in Kisii Central Sub-County, Kenya

Janepha K. Kumba


This paper examines the role of household characteristics in determining food security in Kisii sub-County, Kenya. A total of 209 respondents were drawn from three sub-Locations with the highest population densities within the agro-ecological zones of the area. Data was collected using a questionnaire on the following household characteristics; age, gender, marital status, and education level of household heads. Farm size and the amount of land allocated to crop production data were also collected. Food security assessment was based on household head’s self-report for a period of 12 months. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze data and in particular Pearson’s Chi-square test was used to determine the relationship between household characteristics and food security. Results indicated that 77.5% of the households were food secure and 22.5% were food insecure. Both the marital status (0.018) and the level of education of the household head (0.000) played a significant role in determining household food security. The other significant characteristics were farm size (0.002) and amount of land allocated to crop production (0.006). This study recommends that farmers be encouraged to acquire formal education and also intensify crop production through adoption of modern farm technologies.

Key words: Household Characteristics, Food Security, Marital Status, Pearson’s Chi-square test

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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