Socio-cultural and economic factors influencing household post-harvest cereal loss in Wikililye location, Kitui County, Kenya

Show simple item record Wanjiku, Agnes N. 2018-10-09T09:21:56Z 2018-10-09T09:21:56Z 2018-10-09
dc.description Master of Arts in Sociology, 2018 en_US
dc.description.abstract Food security in food-deficit countries in sub-Saharan Africa remains a big challenge. Yet, a large volume of food, valued in excess of USD 4 billion (grain alone), is harvested each year. The United Nations predicts that 1.3 billion tons of food produced is lost globally. This happens during post-harvest operations every year in a world where over 870 million people go hungry. In Kenya, 30-40% of the total cereals produced yearly are lost due to post-harvest handling inefficiencies, which impact negatively on farmer’s food security. Despite the recorded continued post-harvest cereal loss (PHL), which is an important and complementary factor to food security, hunger and malnutrition, it has not received the required attention. Specifically, in Wikililye Location factors influencing households post-harvest cereal loss are not documented. Studies done have concentrated on the effect of aflatoxins on maize. Therefore, this study sought to determine the socioeconomic, perceptions on environmental influence and post-harvest management strategies (storage) factors influencing household post-harvest cereal loss in the study area. The specific objectives of this study were: describe the socio-economic factors influencing household post-harvest cereal loss; examine the influence of the farmers’ perception of environmental factors on household post-harvest cereal loss; and influence of post-harvest management strategies on post-harvest cereal loss. The study was guided by the Adoption Theory. The study used a cross-sectional descriptive research design. The study focused on households in Wikililye location. The target population was 3,149 households. Consequently, a sample size of 343 was determined using the Raosoft software. A mixed method approach was employed, which allowed the use of various complementary methods to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. A semistructured questionnaire was administered to 343 households that were systematically sampled; four key informants’ interviews and four focus group discussions were conducted with informants who were purposively selected. In addition, direct observations were made on the household cereal storage facilities. Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS) version 24 was used to analyze quantitative data. Descriptive statistics were generated and data are presented in tables as frequencies and percentages. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically and are presented in form of narratives and verbatim quotations. Findings of the study revealed that 63% of the households in the study area experienced cereal loss. The main social economic factors that influence postharvest cereal loss include gender, age, level of education, marketing of cereals and alternative source of income. Factors like land size and source of livelihood also influenced household post-harvest cereal loss. The results reveal that only a small number of informants 4% perceive environmental issues as significant factors impacting on household post-harvest cereal loss. The study recommends that socio-economic issues need to be addressed if post-harvest cereal loss in Wikililye is to be reduced. Specifically, equal training opportunities should be availed to both men and women to allow them to gain knowledge on effective post-harvest loss mitigation practices. Finally, the dormant storage facilities for the communal storage system should be revived because they will contribute in reducing post-harvest loss. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.title Socio-cultural and economic factors influencing household post-harvest cereal loss in Wikililye location, Kitui County, Kenya en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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