Contribution of Underutilised Cereals and Tubers towards Urban Household Food Security and Dietary Diversity in Ruiru, Kiambu County, Kenya
Kanyi, Gicheha Mary
MetadataShow full item record
Underutilized cereals and tubers can contribute to food security and in addition provide nutritional balance in the diet as they form a ready source of essential nutrients yet they have been neglected as the dependence on maize, rice and wheat as main cereals increases. The objective of this study was to assess the consumption of underutilized cereals and tubers in urban households and their contribution towards household food security and dietary diversity. A cross sectional analytical study design was adapted. Kahawa Sukari location, Ruiru, Kiambu County was purposively selected since it had households that cut across different socio-economic classes; four out of its six villages were randomly selected by simple random sampling. Individual households were selected by simple random sampling. A researcher-administered semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect information on demographic, socio-economic, dietary diversity, and food consumption patterns for the 347 households. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS version 20.0) for the descriptive and inferential statistics. The Food Security Index was determined using the expenditure method. Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) established from fifteen food groups was used to assess diversity of the diet consumed by each household. The average household size was 4.1(±1.23) and 62.8 % of the households were found to be food secure. The mean DDS for the households was 10.27(±1.503). Almost all of the interviewed households, 98.8%, had a high DDS whereas only 1.2 % had medium DDS. Data from the consumption patterns show that 61.4 % of the households had consumed sweet potatoes, and 37.2 % had consumed arrowroots while only 6.3 % of the households had consumed yams in the previous seven days. The 24hour recall showed that there was no consumption of cassava, yams or arrowroots. Chi-square test showed that household food security was significantly associated with socioeconomic factors like education (p<0.001), age of household head (p<0.001), occupation (p<0.001), house ownership (p<0.001).Owning some household assets was also significantly associated with household food security like sofa (p=0.002) and DVD (p<0.001).Chi-square test further showed a significant relationship between household dietary diversity and household monthly income(p<0.001), main sources of cash income (p<0.001) and household cooking facilities(p=0.010). No significant relationship was found between consumption of underutilized cereals and tubers and household food security or dietary diversity. Findings from this study may be used by health workers in the Ministry of Health to encourage urban consumers to make more use of underutilized cereals and tubers for dietary diversity and better household food security. For the Ministry of Agriculture, these findings would be useful for broadly based policy at national level to encourage production and consumption of underutilized foods.