Abstract: A lot of intervention measures have been put in place to curb the challenges faced by peasants practicing subsistence farming. However, most households still experience food unsustainability. Subsistence farmers of East Alego location, Siaya County, where the study was conducted practice subsistence farming all the year round. Even though the area is endowed with natural conditions favorable for crop production, but most households experience food unsustainability. The main objective of the study was to determine the effects of subsistence farming activities on food sustainability. Descriptive research design was used together with research instruments such as observations, interview schedules and administration of questionnaires. The study adopted stratified sampling technique and simple random sampling design with a sample size of 327 households out of 2381 targeted farm households in the study area. Data from the field was analyzed using measures of central tendencies such as mean, mode and median. Frequencies and percentages were also used to present data using tables, pie charts, bar graphs, line graphs and photographs. Tests such as Mann Whitney U-Test, Kruskal-Wallis Test and Chi- square statistics were used in analyzing data from the field. A Kruskall-Wallis Test revealed that there was a significant effect on crop production in East Alego location; Where (H (2 d.f.) = 8.07, p ˂ .05). From the mean ranks Umala Sub-location had a higher mean maize production (10) than Olwa (9.25) and Ulafu (9.25) Sub-locations. Tabulated (critical) value at 0.05 and d.f. =5 was 11.070 while calculated value was 225.231 which was greater than the tabulated (critical) value (11.070) hence, the null hypothesis was rejected. Therefore, it was concluded that dependence on rain fed agriculture was significantly affecting crop production in East Alego location. A Mann Whitney U-Test value of 31 was calculated and it was above the mean and median values of 8.5 respectively and almost twice the number of the observations made (16) showing more significant effect on food sustainability in Umala/Ulafu Sub-locations than in Olwa Sub-location. Nearly 81% of the respondents suggested keeping of mixed animals for their produce and use of dung/farmyard manure as farm input to improve soil fertility so that crop production could be improved for food sustainability. There was need for mitigation measures so that subsistence farmers of East Alego location could be able to embrace clean crop husbandry practices for food sustainability.
Keywords: subsistence farming, food sustainability, diversification, intensification
| DOI: 10.17148/IARJSET.2020.7409