Livestock Production and Food Security Determinants in Kitui County: A Case of Kyangwithya East and Mutomo Wards By: (Kivunzya A. N)

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ABSTRACT
Livestock is a major source of livelihoods contributing 40-50% of total household income in Kitui. A cross-sectional study was conducted in semi-arid farming zone and arid pastoral zone in Kitui County to understand livestock production constraints and factors influencing food security. Households were calculated proportionately. Simple random sampling was used to select households. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive and multiple linear regression analysis was done using SPSS. A total of 110 households were selected, 64 in Kyangwithya East and 46 in
Mutomo Wards. Mean age of respondents in years was as follows: Kyangwithya East 53.6 and Mutomo 51.8. Drought was mainly (100%) the major problem in Kyangwithya East and Mutomo. High cost of treatment/input (98%), low price of the
livestock (98%) pest and diseases (43%) in Kyangwithya East. Similarly, high cost of treatment/input (89%), low price of the livestock (74%) pest and diseases (56%) were challenges in Mutomo. In Kyangwithya East (97%) and Mutomo (89%) farmers received climate forecast information mainly through radio with only 20% in Kyangwithya East and 33% in Mutomo trusting the information. Livestock sales were seasonal, December, January, May and September at 60% – 90% while livestock feed was available in January, April, May, June, November and December. Only 23% in Kyangwithya East and 22% in Mutomo were food secure. Age of the household head and TLU owned had a positive significant
influence on food security at p ≤ 0.05. Livestock development decision makers, planers and policy maker should develop
interventions that aim to improve livestock productivity and food security.
Keywords: Livestock, productivity,
challenges, Kitu

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