Factors influencing food production and household food security among women farmers in Evurore, Mbeere district, Kenya
Mituki, Dorothy Muthoni
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the socio-economic and cultural factors influencing food production among women in Evuvore Division, Mbeere District in Eastern Province, hence the food security status of the respondents. The major objectives of the study were to investigate the socio-economic, cultural and demographic characteristics influencing food production among women: the food production related factors of the respondents: the household food security status of the respondents and to determine the relationship between selected demographic, socio-economic, cultural characteristics of respondents and household food security. The study was a descriptive survey design. Data was collected through interview schedules and observation checklist. The sample consisted of 103 households (10% of households from the study area). The sampling was done using the cluster and random sampling techniques. Data was analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and subjected to descriptive statistics. Frequencies, means and percentages were used to describe, summarize and organise the data. The Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used to obtain the relationship between isolated independent variables and the dependent variable. The findings revealed low literacy levels among the respondents, 67.96% were primary school dropouts while 26.21% had no formal education. The households’ sizes were large with a mean of members. The income of the respondents was low (a range of 50 Kshs - 3000 Kshs per month). Respondents were involved in several economic activities involving exploitation of natural resources. Levels of technology employed by the respondents was low a traditional dagger 'muro' was still in use. One household food security, the respondents were found to have a moderate level of food insecurity. They were found to be very vulnerable to food insecurity due to their low income and the erratic rains in the region. There is need to improve the well being of the producers in order to enhance food production and food security.