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Determining Influenceson Sustainability of Agriculture Food Security PROJECTS

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 5636 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Source: Organics for Orphans


Sustainable Food System refers to food systems that are “capable of maintaining their productivity and usefulness to society indefinitely” (Cherfas and Hodgkin, 2011). For a government to realise “Long term Food Security it depends on food production and care for the natural environment. (…) Food is a basic Human Right. This right can only be realised in a system where food sovereignty is guaranteed” (Patel 2009:665).

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Systems must be resource conserving, socially supportive, competitive in market and environmentally sound. Therefore, to achieve Agriculture Food Security Projects in a county level. Community Food Security must be adopted. This is “a situation in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social Justice.” (Hamm and Bellows, 2003).

Community based focus is important in achieving food security since focuses on bridging the gap between the national government and household level in different counties. Sustainable food security projects compliments and fits into modern food demand. It creates profit to the producers and their products.

Half of the world’s population depend on Agriculture (Fyfe, 2002). In most African Countries agriculture accounts to 70 percent of labour work force, and it remains largely traditional concentrated in the hands of small-scale farmers and pastoralists (Economic Report on Africa, 2009). Since most of them are held up in poverty there working conditions is very poor. This has prompted most of them to organise themselves into groups and cooperatives (Christodoulou and Gray, 2007).

In Kenya Agriculture has been known to be the backbone of Kenya’s economy. However, due to climate change effects farmers have been affected. The uncertainty and unpredictable rain have made it difficult for farmers to plan for farming activities. This brings in the need to set up sustainable food security projects by the county’s in order to tackle food insecurity problems that arise due to climate change.

Recently, the rise in food prices has affected different households. It is approximated about 3.5 Million people in Kenya depend on food donation (USAID, 2009). This has affected most households in Arid and Semi-Arid areas of Kenya. West Pokot County being one of the counties which has been massively affected by food insecurity. In response to this the government has initiated several food security projects with no success. A project can only be termed as successful when it delivers what it is supposed to, gets its results and meet stakeholder’s expectation (Lewis 2005).

This research will focus on examining the determinants influencing sustainability of food security projects in West Pokot County, Kenya by looking at the extent at which these variables influences sustainability of Agriculture Food Security projects. These include how credit access influences sustainability of Agriculture Food Security projects; to establish how input supply influences sustainability of Agriculture Food Security Projects; to establish how training influences sustainability of Agriculture Food security projects and to determine how adoption of technologies influences sustainability of Agriculture Food Security projects in West Pokot County, Kenya.

This research Proposal has been structured as follows: Research questions, research strategy, Research Design and lastly discussion on West Pokot County as my area of Study. Thereafter we will discuss the research methods. The last paragraph we will discuss the methodology which will consist of the limitation of the study and ethical consideration.


2.1 Research Question

The aim of this study is to examine the determinants influencing sustainability of agriculture Food projects in West Pokot County, Kenya. This research will be guided by the following research questions:

  1. To what extent does credit access influence sustainability of agriculture food security projects in West Pokot County?
  2. How does input supply influence sustainability of agriculture food security projects in West Pokot County?
  3. To what extent does training of farmers influence sustainability of agriculture food security projects in West Pokot County?
  4. How does adoption of new technology influence sustainability of agriculture Food Security Projects in West Pokot County?

Research Objectives

Research Objective



To establish the influence of credit access on sustainability of Agriculture Food Security Projects in West Pokot County, Kenya.


Questionnaire and Pilot Study

To examine the influence of input supply on sustainability of agriculture food security projects in West Pokot County, Kenya


Questionnaire and Pilot Study

To access the influence of training of farmers on sustainability of Agriculture Food Security Projects in West Pokot, Kenya


Questionnaire and Pilot Study

To determine the influence of adoption of new technologies on Agriculture Food Security Projects in West Pokot County, Kenya


Questionnaire and Pilot Study

This study aims to determine the impact of sustainability of agriculture food security projects and how farmers affect the county’s economic growth and development. The study will also be relevant to stakeholders by providing a guideline in terms of policy formation. The study will also be of great importance to the people of West Pokot County because it determines the factors influencing farmers on sustainability of agriculture food security projects.

2.2 Research Design

A descriptive research design will be used in the study by seeking to get individual opinions on their attitude towards funding and loans (Mugenda and Mugenda 2003). Descriptive research design is entitled to acquire information about the current treads and draw valid conclusions from the discussion. Descriptive research often aims to describe a situation by creating a picture of a group of problems, people or events through data collection and tabulation of the frequencies of the research variables.

“Descriptive research is based on previous understanding of the nature of the problem” (Paulin 2007).

2.3 Research Method

The method that would be used in data collection will involve the use of questionnaire. Questionnaire is useful for understanding the degree to which certain phenomena is present in a certain group, and they add greater depth to social research than other methods such as interviews or case studies (Flyvbjerg, 2004). However, (Flyvbjerg 2004) argues that questionnaires entail subjectivity in the choice of categories and questions, and that errors in the method may not be corrected due to the distance between the researcher and the respondent.

The questionnaire will contain open and closed ended questions. The questionnaire will be dropped and picked from the farmers. Respondent’s farmers will be selected based on random sampling to get the views of the entire group. Ten groups will be selected, and a representative will be given the questionnaire to respond on behalf of the group. Data will then be collected from the individual representing the group. The closed ended questions will contain a list of possible alternatives from which respondents is required to select the answer that best describes the situation.

The questionnaire will contain 4 parts: Part A will contain demographic and respondent profiles. Part B, Sustainability of Agriculture Food Projects, Part C, will contain the objectives, on the influence of credit card access on sustainability of agriculture food security projects in West Pokot County, second objective of the study which is to examine the influence of input supply on sustainability of agriculture food security projects in West Pokot County, Kenya. The third objective on the influence of training of farmers on sustainability of Agriculture Food Security Projects in West Pokot, Kenya. The fourth objective on the influence of adoption of new technologies on Agriculture Food Security Projects in West Pokot County, Kenya.

Pilot study will be carried out before the actual day to get the response. Pilot study refers to feasibility carried out in a small-scale version in preparation to the main study. This study will enable us to get to understand the clarity of the method. Pre- test enable the researcher discover errors before the actual collection of data begins (Mugenda and Mugenda, 2003), and 10 percent of the sample size is considered adequate pilot study that is one farmer equating to ren purposively selected respondent perceived to be knowledgeable on the influence of sustainability of agriculture food security projects in West Pokot County..

2.4 Case Study Selection

West Pokot county is a semi-arid area, only 10.5 percent of the land can be used for crop production, and 3 percent is considered high potential land. 45 percent of people are considered to live under poverty line not just because of failed rains but because of poor planning and frequent community conflicts (USAID, 2017).

Although some parts of West Pokot have gotten a well-developed agriculture system, use of modern science and technology equipment is limited (Jayne and Muyanga, 2006). Most farmers lack the information on the right type of input. The cost of capital invest on food production is expensive. Most farmers therefore do not use them, this has greatly affected the farmers output. Pest and diseases have continuously affected the farmers crops therefore resulting to loss. 

2.5 Limitation of the Study

During the study it may not be easy to convince the farmers that the information collected will be treated in confidentiality because they have been misused in the past by other researchers. Language barrier may also be a problem to those who do not understand English.

Further, due to limited time it may not be possible to do research on more cases in the county. When more instances could have been researched a better conclusion on Sustainability of Agriculture Food Projects would have been drawn.

2.6 Ethical Consideration

This research is designed to ensure integrity and transparency. The questions asked do not consider any personal occurrence. All references shared by the respondents will be anonymous. A short-detailed description of the questions will be provided prior to the answering of the questions including the estimated duration of the questionnaire. Furthermore, all the respondents will be asked to sign the ethical approval form by Cardiff University.


3.1 Concept for Sustainability of Agriculture Food Security Projects

The sustainability of our current food production system is being questioned for many reasons. Media has constantly portrayed the picture of hungry and starving people (Adams et al, 2010). Starvation being portrayed by the media as people in the area not having enough food to eat. This therefore does not mean that there is not enough food to eat (Sen 1981). The drastic climate change patterns and rapid spread of diseases (Birkhaeuser et al 2011).

This calls for, Sustainable Community Food Security adoption, “a situation in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social Justice.” (Hamm and Bellows, 2003). This will ensure Food Sovereignty and security is achieved by the county.

Food Sovereignty is a culture that must be adopted. “The right of people to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and the needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather that the demands of markets and corporations” (Nyeleni 2007). By this sustainable food security will be achieved by the county.

Food security, when adopted, it highlights on the individual, household, county, national and global level. Food security is defined as “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life “(FAO,2006).

This will ensure that food production system is socially and ethically acceptable therefore a large fraction of the population will develop resilience to the changing climate pattern (Garnett and Godfray 2012)

3.2 Credit Access and Sustainability of Agriculture Food Security Projects

Agriculture in Kenya has over the years been known as the backbone of the country’s economy. Credit access plays a crucial role in the Agriculture Food Security Community projects. The availability to timely and low-cost credit is of great importance especially to small scale farmers in marginalised communities. Alongside other inputs, credit is essential for establishing profitable farming system (Maitima, Rakotoarioa and Kang’the 2010).

Most of the small-scale farmers engage in agricultural activities in areas that have different potentials. Easy access to financial services over the years has shown positive impact on productivity, asset accumulation income and food security in marginalised areas. The government, therefore, needs to bring all the farmers households and promote financial inclusion.

Indian Government has initiated several policy measures to increase accessibility of farmers to sources of credit. The emphasis of credit has been based in institutionalising in order to provide timely and adequate credit support to all local farmers, particular focus on marginalised farmers. This is to ensure that modern technology is incorporated into the farming system to improve productivity. (Ramakrishnan and Kumar, 2019). The policy stressed on ease of credit flow at the lower level through sustainable planning, adoption of region-specific strategy and rationalisation of lending policies and procedures. This policy has resulted in the increase in the share of institutional credit of the rural households (Serboonsarng et al., 2005).

In order to actualise the free and timely credit access all farmers. The county needs to initiate credit card schemes to all farmers who are eligible in order to be able to purchase agriculture inputs (Ramakrishnan and Kumar, 2019).

State promotion of contract farming can also be used as a method to put an end to negative effects associated with opportunistic behaviour. The county government can also promote agriculture food security projects by regulating market by shifting attention from market driven ideologies to formulating supportive agri-business policy framework (Janicke et al., 2006). Policy formation by the government will ensure improvement on contract farmig both at the micro and macro level.

Micro Farming may include training, research and providing relevant services for expansion of the contract. Training services will majorly involve literacy, accounting and cash management. Studies shows that government intervention in agriculture food security projects leads to successful planning and execution of economic policies (Dollo et al, 2006).

 3.3 Influence of Input Supply in Sustainability of Agricultural Food Security Projects

One of the major challenges facing small scale farmers in Africa has been the limited access to improved seed variety and fertilizers. The problem that has been linked to this is lack of policy which impairs the efficiency in the market system for marginalised households that have lack productive assets such as manpower and agriculture equipment. The immediate strategy is to provide seeds and fertilizer to increase production. Once this is met additional support will be needed such as supportive policies and extension credit services. This will ensure “sustainability of livelihood, with less emphasis on short- term outcome” (FAO 2012).

Input subsidies has always been the centre of discussion of agricultural input marketing and successful marketing strategy. Studies show that agriculture input subsidies have a common element that will ensure development of agriculture in poor rural economies including successful green economy (Dorward et al., 2008).

Macro- factors that have continuously affected the supply and demand of agriculture input include economic context, oil, trade and exchange rates. In most developing countries they continue their economic performance and hence, an increase in demand for agricultural commodities and input (FAO 2008). High oil prices could waste away the use of oil based agricultural input which have been behind the increase in farm production in the past century (FAO 2007)

3.4 Training of Farmers on Sustainability of Agriculture Food Security Projects

Food Democracy is an important aspect in ensuring that all members of the community practicing agriculture in the food system, have equal and effective opportunities for participation in structuring the food system, as well as knowledge on relevant ways of operating the food system (Hassanein 2003).

Government and Non- Governmental Organisation should invest in conducting training to ensure that the community has been effectively empowered. This will ease accessibility, promote human right and the right to every individual having an idea about food. Training procedure vary from one to two days this include on farm training, field visits and demonstration.

Many rural families in Africa have an experience with Farming. Training on agriculture farming is desirable to many communities as they are often eager to improve their skills and knowledge.  One of the popular strategies used is the ‘farmer to farmer approach’. Farmers chosen to be model farmers are selected based on the criteria determined by the organisation. The criteria may include; level of education, leadership skills and personal traits (Muok et al, 2001). The farmers are trained and given farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizers. Farmers are then encouraged to teach other peers (Muok et al., 2001).

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There are several initiatives that have been carried out to promote sustainable food projects, but they have not been documented. Access of information is still difficult to source by farmers. Sustainable agriculture seeks an environmentally sound, socially and economically viable ways to produce and to meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the future. Africa generally faces a big challenge in feeding its population, this challenge is escalating due to climate change, land degradation, water scarcity and food crisis.

There is need to develop people centred approaches in the context of sustainable development. Agriculture operations for a long time in Africa has operated in linear mode of technology transfer, training farmers on the latest technology to improve food production (Worth, 2006). Historically, southern Africa research and extension systems were built on the research design approach, although some changes have occurred in the last few decades.

However, the limitation of the research has been basically due to the use of science while conducting the research and training. This makes it difficult for the local communities to understand. Based on the local knowledge, diversity, sustainability and farmer’s needs. This series of limitations has led to development of farming systems approaches, which include visiting farmers and training them, this is a good way since the farmer gets to participate and pay attention to Agro-ecological variation (Murwira et al., 2000).

People centred strategies in initiating food security project is appropriate since it facilitate coping with diverse issues in both ecological and social economic terms (Stoop and Hart, 2005). In this approach the researchers see farmers as innovators and entrepreneurs as farmers view science as a source of information available to them.  The depth of research goes just beyond farming and investigates the multi-functional food systems and value chains across multiple scales from global to local and time frame. The main drivers are responsive to changing contexts such as markets, globalisation and climate change.

3.5 Adoption of New Technology and Sustainability of Agriculture Food Security Projects.

Technological adoption is the driving force for improving agriculture and promoting sustainability among community projects. Agriculture is becoming more integrated into the Food Chain and the global market. At the same time, agriculture is being faced with challenges to meet the growing demand of the consumers, both locally and internationally. Despite all this there is need to meet sustainability in the context of policy formation, trade liberalisation and multilateral environment agreements to by the OECD countries (Adams and Gibson, 2010).

In the past technology was adopted to increase food production, productivity and income (Van den berg and Jiggins, 2007), whereas now the emphasis is on sustainable production, which involves changing of farm practices and using adapting technologies. Farmers are supposed to be educated on science and technology and supplied with advanced, modern farming tools and equipment’s (Mol and Spaargaren 2000). Although research keeps changing its still not clear which technology is based for practising farming and is sustainable. In the past research was aimed at solving technical problems but now it is aimed at defining research priorities and best technology that can ensure sustainability of projects.

Those priorities include controlling pest and diseases, information technology, precision farming and organic farming systems (FAO, 2008). Other priorities include education and training system and the role of the public and private research efforts. However more sustainability issues need stop be incorporated (Maitima and Kangethe 2010).

Currently policy makers are faced with challenges related to technology. Most of the technology are either available or underdeveloped. The policy makers end up dealing with uncertainty of both the effects these new technologies will have throughout the food chain and the impact the policies will have on the food system. Furthermore, there is an increased pressure on the research and advisory budgets that must be accommodated (Kiser, 2008).

Organisations have now shifted from working with individual farmers to collaborating with groups or community farmers organisation. At grass root levels all the farmers associations, producer groups and cooperatives are all involved in research and extension services (Hogan 2012). Farmers Organisation can therefore fulfil several roles, that contribute to sustainability and enhance successful innovation and increasingly provide services  (Speedu, 2003).

The private and public sector arrangements currently play a role in increasing the research and extension. Farmers Organisation are thus involved in areas where stakeholders interest is given a priority (Pole and Wasilwa 2011). However, its effective use of new technologies to become innovations is often defined by conditions other that simple access to knowledge and information. The innovation system concept therefore involves actor, learning process, policy and institutional context that govern the food systemin order to attain sustainability.

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