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Title: Relationship between realization of right to adequate food and food security: A study among pastoral and small farm holder households
Authors: Muthoka, Stellamaris
Keywords: Food security -- Pastoral and small farm holder
Issue Date: Aug-2010
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Convention on Economic and Social Cultural Rights underpin freedom from hunger and dignified lives for all. The study aimed at developing an innovative methodology for assessment of realization of the right to adequate food at household level and its validation; investigation of realization of the right to adequate food and its influence on food security, perception of rights to adequate food among pastoral and small farm holder households and duty bearer challenges in their realization of their obligation towards attainment of realization of right to adequate food. The study developed the right to adequate food tool based on the rights obligation parameters „to respect‟, „to protect‟ and „to fulfil‟. Validation of methodology was achieved through a comparative cross-sectional survey among 249 pastoral and farming households. Data was collected using a general household questionnaire, rights to adequate food questionnaire, perception of right to adequate food questionnaire, 24 hour food recall, food frequency questionnaire, household food insecurity access scale and focus group discussions. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS version 16 software. Qualitative data was analyzed based on thematic content analysis. A 34 item rating tool was developed, able to assess realization level of right to adequate food at household level and also articulate aspects of knowledge, entitlement, capacity, capability, empowerment and decision making. Household Right to Adequate Food Index (HRTAFI) was computed as a measure of level of realization of the right at household level. The farming community had better level of realization of both the right to adequate food and household food security compared to the pastoral community (p<0.01). The pastoral group had higher realization of the obligation parameter of fulfilment (p<0.01) compared to the farming group. Female headed households had better realization of the right to food (p<0.05) although they experience more violation with respect to the obligation parameter of protection (p<0.05).Both communities experienced violation of the right with respect to the protection parameter. Realization of the right to adequate food correlated positively with education, health and gainful occupation (p<0.01). The pastoral community however had better annual income (p<0.01) compared to the farming counterparts. Both communities had a reasonable understanding of human rights; however, the practice was contextual. Retrenchment was perceived as an opportunity to enhance livelihoods among the study group (p<0.05). Causes of violation of the right included unstable livelihoods, high food price hikes, marital conflict, civil unrest, and changing climatic conditions. Manifestation and mechanisms of redress varied among the study groups and by gender. Primary duty bearer‟s challenges included livelihood stability and changing policies. However, secondary duty bearer‟s support was crucial in fostering primary duty bearer‟s realization of the right. Single mothers had more challenges in meeting their obligations of right to adequate food for the infant. Perception of breast feeding was contextual and varied along gender lines. The pastoral community significantly breast fed the boy child longer (p<0.05). Realization of the right to adequate food increased with awareness on human rights accounting for 5% variation and varied with seasonality. It accounted for 4-14% variation in food security during wet season compared to 5-8% during the dry season. Realization of right to adequate food enhances food security. Meeting primary duty bearer needs is fundamental in capacitating them to realize their obligations in realization of the right xv to adequate food. Perceptions of human rights are not new among communities and are consistent with conventional definition of human rights, however practice is contextual. Violations of rights are based on both human and non-human factors. Realization of the right to adequate food is influenced by realization other rights such as education, health and work. The developed HRTAFI can be used as an alternative measure of food security at household level.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Science

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