The Issue of Food Insecurity in Kenya

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Urte Sadauskaite
Food security is one of the indicators regarding the level of country’s development and was named the first MDGs that to be reached by the 2015. The target is to eradicate the extreme poverty and hunger by half compared to the levels in 1990. As the deadline is approaching, it is interesting to look at how countries are dealing with reaching their targets. It was reported that on the global level the target is going to be achieved. However, some countries are not likely to reach their own goals and improve food security situation. Thus, it is interesting to see what are the challenges these countries face in scaling-down the level of hunger. Kenya, being one of the countries that are not likely to achieve its food security goal, was chosen to analyze as a case study. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the reasons why food insecurity is still present in Kenya, despite international commitments and government policies. The following four factors after the initial research were found to have the most immense influence on the issue: neoliberal trade regime, foreign food aid, domestic policies and climate change. The factors were analyzed employing theories or neoliberalism and dependency. It was found that trade liberalization agreements and financial ties with international financial institutions restricted Kenya from developing in an efficient way its food security policies. Furthermore, due to the extensive inflows of inexpensive food imports and always available foreign food aid, local farmers found themselves in a disadvantageous position compared to the foreign food producers and this led to discouragement of domestic food production. Therefore, the agricultural sector is currently declining in Kenya, even though it is of the prime importance regarding employment and Kenya GDP. After the adopted liberal trading regime, Kenya found itself involved in unequal and exploitative relations that restrict it from improving food security situation. Governmental programs were found to be inefficient because SAPs prevent government from subsidizing vulnerable sectors or efficiently funding food security policies. Climate change, the result of the unsustainable development of currently developed economies, as well impacts heavily, by draughts or floods, food security in Kenya. All things considered, food security situation in Kenya is mostly caused by the neoliberal trading regime and the dependency on the advanced economies imposed by the regime.
Publication date16 Dec 2014
Number of pages38
ID: 206970427