Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2021, 9(2), 36-45
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-9-2-1
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Food Insecurity Coping Strategies and Determinants of Households’ Choice of Specific Coping Strategies in Kitui County, Kenya

Charles K. Ndungu1, Evelyn J. Mutunga1, , Moses Mwangi2 and Patrick C. Kariuki3

1Department of Environmental Science and Land Resources Management, South Eastern Kenya University, P.O. Box 170-90200, KITUI, KENYA

2Department of Hydrology and Aquatic Sciences, South Eastern Kenya University, P.O. Box 170-90200, KITUI, KENYA

3Department of Geology and Meteorology, South Eastern Kenya University, P.O. Box 170-90200, KITUI, KENYA

Pub. Date: March 25, 2021

Cite this paper:
Charles K. Ndungu, Evelyn J. Mutunga, Moses Mwangi and Patrick C. Kariuki. Food Insecurity Coping Strategies and Determinants of Households’ Choice of Specific Coping Strategies in Kitui County, Kenya. Journal of Food Security. 2021; 9(2):36-45. doi: 10.12691/jfs-9-2-1


A study was carried out to examine farmers’ coping strategies and the determinants of their choice of specific coping strategies to food insecurity in selected agro-ecological zones in Kitui County. A total of 341 households were selected from four different agro-ecological zones: semi-humid, transitional semi-humid to semi- arid, semi-arid and arid zones. The results indicated that use of off-farm income, selling livestock to buy food, reducing number of meals per day, selling family assets and seeking off-farm employment in urban areas were the most common coping strategies adopted by farmers in the study area. Further, there was a statistically significant difference (p<0.01) in the farmers’ use of off-income to buy food, food assistance for assets programs, relying on relief food, selling livestock to buy food, selling forest products, reducing the number of meals per day and moving herds from one place to another across the four agro-ecological zones. Multivariate probit regression model analysis showed that different socio-economic characteristics had a varying influence on the farmers’ choice of specific coping strategies. The study therefore recommends that interventions by state and non-state actors aimed at enhancing households’ ability to cope with climate variability and extreme events related food shortages should be informed by household’s specific socio-economic characteristics that influence the coping strategy in question in specific agro-ecological zones.

agro-ecological zones climate variability food assistance for assets households multivariate probit model

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