Household Coping and Adaptive Strategies Undertaken by Households to Enhance Food Security in Makueni County, Kenya


James Ndwiga Kathuri
Joy A. Obando
Leonard M. Kisovi


Food insecurity remains a key problem in the World in general and in the low income countries in particular. Examining how households deal with the challenge of food insecurity is therefore important in order to have more informed policy interventions. This study examined coping and adaptive strategies undertaken by households to enhance food security in Makueni County, Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive research design and used a semi-structured questionnaire to gather data. Observation and photography methods were also used to compliment the questionnaire.  While food insecurity was the dependant variable, the predictor variables were the coping and adaptive strategies used by the households to deal with food insecurity situations. From 400 respondents selected in Makueni County, Kenya, the study results revealed that nearly all (98%) of the farmers are resilient and uses a number of coping and adaptive strategies to deal with food insecurity. The coping strategies used include engaging in small scale business, engaging in causal labour jobs, food aid, food rationing and borrowing from relatives and friends to be able to acquire food among others. The adaptive strategies on the hand include keeping of livestock, agroforestry, seeking formal employment and undertaking small scale irrigation among others. The study further established that the coping and adaptive strategies used were not successful in making households food secure but they were a means of minimizing the effects of food insecurity. The respondents indicated that the coping and adaptive strategies were not successful in addressing food insecurity due to factors such as death of livestock due to drought, lack of dams for water, lack of employment opportunities, and lack of adequate support by the government. This implies that despite use of various coping and adaptive strategies, the farmers are still vulnerable to food insecurity because the strategies applied merely minimized the effects of food insufficiency. The study recommends the need to address the households' food insecurity through strengthening of households coping and adaptive strategies such as through credit facilities, training, use of technology, creating job opportunities, enhancing government support through for example extension services and a shift from food aid to inputs for work as well as   diversifying farmers' livelihood activities. 


How to Cite
Kathuri, J. N., Obando, J. A., & Kisovi, L. M. (2020). Household Coping and Adaptive Strategies Undertaken by Households to Enhance Food Security in Makueni County, Kenya. The International Journal of Humanities & Social Studies, 8(6).