FACTORS AFFECTING FOOD SECURITY OF RURAL FARMERS IN LESOTHO: THE CASE OF KEYHOLE GARDENERS IN LERIBE DISTRICT
The practice of homestead vegetable gardening has gained importance due to the increasing rate of rural poverty in developing countries. Keyhole garden is not yet a particularly common variant of home gardens but it is becoming popular globally in both developing and developed countries due to its unique benefits related to sustainable farming practices. The main objective of the study is to determine factors that influence the food security of rural farmers in Lesotho utilising keyhole gardeners in Leribe district in Lesotho. The study used a purposive sampling method to select a sample of 110 respondents. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression models were used for data analysis. The majority of households (65.45%) never skipped a meal and were food secure however, 27.27% sometimes skipped meals, and 7% skipped meals frequently. The study findings indicated that keyhole gardens influence food security since they boost food supplies, generate income and help in the reduction of food bills. The results of the study showed that age (p < 0.01), marital status p < 0.05), household size (p < 0.10), market information (p < 0.05), donations (p < 0.01) and access to inputs (p < 0.01) influence the food security of keyhole garden farmers in the study area. The study recommends that agriculture civil service workers should receive training on keyhole gardens so that they can transfer the knowledge and skills to rural farmers to increase the awareness of, and the participation in, keyhole gardening and ultimately influence household food security.
keyhole garden; sustainable agriculture; food security; rural communities
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