Household food insecurity in sub‐Saharan Africa: lessons from Kenya

Dickson M. Nyariki (Lecturer in Agricultural Economics, Department of Range Management, University of Nairobi, Kenya)
Steve Wiggins (Lecturer in Agricultural Economics, Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, University of Reading, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 1 August 1997


Despite the widely acknowledged prognosis that the danger of unrelenting hunger and famine looms large in sub‐Saharan Africa and that there is a constant need for donors to provide much required food relief, there is a paucity of literature based on comprehensive empirical work at the household or individual level. Based on data collected across two years and two locations in rural Kenya, attempts to develop further the literature on household food security. Food balances are computed and various approaches to food poverty analysis are employed by setting a very low poverty line to determine the proportion of households whose members would require external food support. Results show that per capita food production is low and varies with rainfall, and food poverty and inequality in distribution are high. A great deal could be done, therefore, in the sphere of livelihood opportunities to enhance household purchasing power and hence effective demand and food distribution.



Nyariki, D. and Wiggins, S. (1997), "Household food insecurity in sub‐Saharan Africa: lessons from Kenya", British Food Journal, Vol. 99 No. 7, pp. 249-262.

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Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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