SBS’s Dr. S. Wagura Ndiritu together with two fellow contributors wrote an academic paper that was published by the prestigious World Development Journal, which contributes to an understanding of the gender inequality in household food security in Kenya. Dr. Ndiritu is a Senior Lecturer at SBS specialising in Economics and Agri-business related fields. Dr. Ndiritu started his work on this paper while pursuing his PhD at University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His co-writers in the journal are Dr. Menale Kassie and Prof. Jesper Stage. Dr. Kassie is an Agricultural and Development Economist at International Maize & Wheat Improvement Center, while Prof. Stage works in the Department of Social Sciences at Mid Sweden University.
The paper contributes to an understanding of the link between gender of household head and food security using household and plot level survey data from 88 villages and five districts in rural Kenya. We use an exogenous switching treatment regression effects approach to assess the gender food security gap. The study establishes that the female food security gap is attributable to observable differences in endowments and characteristics, but also to some extent to differences in the responses to those characteristics. We find that female headed households (FHHs) could have been more food secure, if they had had the male headed households’ (MHHs) observable resources and characteristics. Even if that had been the case, however, our results indicate that FHHs would still have been less food secure than the MHHs. The analysis further reveals that that FHHs’ food security influenced by many factors: household wealth, social capital network, land quality, input use, access to output markets, information and water sources. Policies targeting increasing FHHs resources access, reducing discrimination, strengthening local institutions and services and better road network will increase the food security status of the female farmer.
Kassie Menale, Simon Wagura Ndiritu and Jesper Stage (2014) Gender inequalities and Food security in Kenya: Application of Switching regression World Development Volume 56, April 2014, Pages 153–171