Influence of Seasonal On-Farm Diversity on Dietary Diversity: A Case Study of Smallholder Farming Households in Western Kenya

Ng’endo, Mary; Bhagwat, Shonil and Keding, Gudrun B. (2016). Influence of Seasonal On-Farm Diversity on Dietary Diversity: A Case Study of Smallholder Farming Households in Western Kenya. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 55(5) pp. 403–427.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03670244.2016.1200037

Abstract

This study explored the associations between dietary patterns and farm diversity as well as socioeconomic variables during two seasons in rural Western Kenya. As a mean of two surveys, the average dietary diversity scores (DDS) of households and women were low, implying low household economic access to food and low women’s dietary quality. The Food Consumption Score (FCS) showed that acceptable levels of food consumption were realized over seven consecutive days in the 2014 survey by the majority of households (83%) and women (90%). While there was no strong association between the food scores and seven farm diversity indicators, both food scores were significantly associated with the household’s wealth status, ethnicity of both the household head and the spouse, and the education level of the spouse. For holistic household food and nutrition security approaches, we suggest a shift from a focus on farm production factors to incorporating easily overlooked socioeconomic factors such as household decision-making power and ethnicity.

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