Food Security

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 333–340 | Cite as

Preface: Challenges and opportunities for enhancing food security in Kenya

  • Gordon M. Hickey
  • Bernard Pelletier
  • Leigh Brownhill
  • Geoffrey M. Kamau
  • Immaculate N. Maina
Original Paper

Abstract

Achieving sustainable food security in Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the main challenges facing African governments and the international community. The 2007–2008 food crisis and ongoing chronic hunger problems clearly demonstrate that millions of people on the continent, including in relatively stable countries such as Kenya, are dangerously vulnerable to economic, political and climatic shocks that threaten food availability and accessibility. At the heart of the strategies to build resilience and tackle food insecurity is the need for effective institutional and policy frameworks that can support local innovations while taking into account the biophysical, social and economic constraints within which rural livelihoods operate. The papers included in this Special Issue of Food Security support the view that for food security initiatives in Kenya to be effective, they must embrace solutions that are equitable, generalizable and ecologically sound to ensure sustainability. Ultimately, to improve innovation and technology adoption, a systems approach that allows women and men, wealthy and poor farmers to engage with scientific and political elites in the design and implementation of food-related research and development initiatives must be embraced. There is also the need to develop tools and approaches that can assist smallholder farmers, researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders to share a better understanding of the multiple factors driving food insecurity and hindering the implementation of effective policies and institutions.

Keywords

Socio-ecological systems Complexity Arid and semi-arid land Adaptation Rural livelihoods 

References

  1. Bebbington, J., Asaduzzaman, M., Clark, M., Fernández, A., Guillou, M., Jahn, M., et al. (2012). Achieving food security in the face of climate change. Final report from the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change. Copenhagen: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).Google Scholar
  2. Brownhill, L., & Hickey, G. M. (2012). Understanding the barriers to effective food security policy in Kenya using interview triads: A case study application. Food Security, 4(3), doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0183-2.
  3. Eidt, C. M., Hickey, G. M., & Curtis, M. A. (2012). Knowledge integration and the adoption of new agricultural technologies: Kenyan perspectives. Food Security, 4(3), doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0175-2.
  4. Fischer, E., & Qaim, M. (2012). Gender, agricultural commercialization, and collective action in Kenya. Food Security, 4(3), doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0199-7.
  5. Government of Kenya. (2010). Agricultural sector development strategy 2010–2020. Nairobi: Government of Kenya.Google Scholar
  6. Jayne, T. S., & Muyanga, M. (2012). Land constraints in Kenya's densely populated rural areas: Implications for food policy and institutional reform. Food Security, 4(3), doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0174-3.
  7. Jones, M. (2012). First Global Conference on Women in Agriculture (GCWA): Empowering women in agriculture: rethinking agricultural needs and actions through the eyes of women. Food Security, 4(2), doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0188-x.
  8. Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) (2012). The 2011/12 Short Rains season assessment report. Government of Kenya. [http://www.kenyafoodsecurity.org/images/files/shortrains/SRA%20Final%20Report.pdf]. Accessed March 2012.
  9. Kristjanson, P., Neufeld, H., Gassner, A., Mango, J., Kyazze, F. B., Desta, et al. (2012). Are food insecure smallholder households making changes in their farming practices? Evidence from East Africa. Food Security, 4(3), doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0194-z.
  10. Madramootoo, C., & Fyles, H. (2012). Synthesis of findings from the four McGill conferences on global food security: 2008-2011. Food Security 4(2), doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0185-0.
  11. Maplecroft (2011). Maplecroft Food Security Index and interactive global map. Bath, United Kingdom. [http://maps.maplecroft.com]. Accessed January 2012.
  12. Michelson, H., Lentz, E. C., Mulwa, R., Morey, M., Cramer, L., McGlinchy, M., et al. (2012). Cash, food or vouchers in urban and rural Kenya? An application of the Market Information and Food Insecurity Response Analysis Framework. Food Security, 4(3), doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0177-0.
  13. Miruka, M. K., Okello J. J., Kirigua V. O., & Murithi F. M. (2012). The role of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in the attainment of household food security in Kenya: A policy and organizational review. Food Security, 4(3), doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0197-9.
  14. Sanginga, P. C., Waters-Bayer, A., Kaaria, S., Njuki, J., & Wettasinha, C. (Eds.). (2008). Innovation Africa: Enriching farmers’ livelihoods (p. 409). London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  15. Stephens, E. C., Nicholson, C. F., Brown, D. R., Parsons, D., Barrett, C. B., Lehmann, J., et al. (2012). Modeling the impact of natural resource based poverty traps on food security in Kenya: The Crops, Livestock and Soils in Smallholder Economic Systems (CLASSES) model. Food Security, 4(3), doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0176-1.
  16. The Montpellier Panel. (2012). Growth with resilience: Opportunities in African agriculture. London: Agriculture for Impact.Google Scholar
  17. World Bank. (2012). World development indicators (WDI) online. [http://data.worldbank.org/country/kenya]. Accessed 10 February 2012.

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. & International Society for Plant Pathology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon M. Hickey
    • 1
  • Bernard Pelletier
    • 1
  • Leigh Brownhill
    • 1
  • Geoffrey M. Kamau
    • 2
  • Immaculate N. Maina
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)NairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations