Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2019, 7(6), 196-205
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-7-6-2
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Harnessing Social Capital to Improve Food Security of Peri-Urban Households. Experiences from Kisumu City, Kenya

George G. Wagah1, and Mathenge Mwehe2

1Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Maseno University, Kenya

2Department of Urban Management, Maseno University, Kenya

Pub. Date: December 02, 2019

Cite this paper:
George G. Wagah and Mathenge Mwehe. Harnessing Social Capital to Improve Food Security of Peri-Urban Households. Experiences from Kisumu City, Kenya. Journal of Food Security. 2019; 7(6):196-205. doi: 10.12691/jfs-7-6-2


Although significant progress has been made in recent decades to reduce food insecurity in developing countries, a larger percentage of the peri urban population still experiences food insecurity. The peri urban poor, as a particularly marginalized group, and who constitute the majority of the urban population are unfortunately the most vulnerable and disproportionately affected by food insecurity. Many studies, especially those focused on reducing poverty, do not explicitly acknowledge the significant role social capital could play in ameliorating food insecurity especially in the peri urban settlements. This paper explores the determinants of food insecurity and then attempts to demonstrate the contribution made by social capital to the improvement of food security of peri-urban dwellers. Using systematic random sampling, 40 households in Nyalenda, a peri urban informal settlement in Kisumu City were surveyed using a household questionnaire. Data was analyzed by descriptive statistics and a Multinomial Logistic regression model to identify the determinants of food insecurity. The results show that household food security is significantly influenced by livestock and household assets, land size, dependency ratio, and access to market, gender, education level, and labor availability. On the other hand, social capital membership to groups influenced positively the food security status of households. This suggests that intervention promoting food security of peri urban household need to expand their focus not just on livelihood improvement, but also in building the capacity of household’s social capital to help improve food security. We recommend that policy intervention promoting food security of peri urban household to expand their focus to include building of capacity of household’s social capital networks. Additionally, a systematic effort is needed to harness social capital in improving food security intervention in peri urban areas where majority of poor urban dwellers are located.

peri urban areas food insecurity social capital poverty reduction informal settlements

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