Banana Production and Its Implications on Food Security in Imenti South Sub-County, Kenya
Keywords:Household, Agricultural land use, Land use, banana, small holder, food security
AbstractAgricultural systems provide food to the population and ensure food security among many Kenyan communities. Food security is a contemporary discourse globally which seeks to strategies on availability and sufficient food supplies for the ever growing population. Agricultural land use practices such as cultivation of cash and food crops influences food security at household level. Land acreage under other crops has reduced as farmers have turned to banana farming in Imenti South. For example, most high agricultural potential regions in Kenya such as Imenti South in Meru are experiencing high population density which is associated with sharp decline in farm productivity due to land fragmentation and degradation. This study evaluated the effects of banana production on food security in Imenti south Sub-county. Mixed research design of qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in order to achieve this objective. Multi-stage sampling of respondents was used to identify respondents while the main research instruments were questionnaires for households and key informants. The results from the study showed that there was an increase in household banana farming activities for food crop and commercial purposes. Food sufficiency in the region was influenced by level of banana production, markets and land use. This study concluded that banana farming has led to food availability and food security in the region. In recommendation, the government and other stakeholders should make small holder banana farmers adapt good banana farming practices to ensure continued availability and accessibility of food.
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