Migration, rural–urban connectivity, and food remittances in Kenya
Onyango, Elizabeth Opiyo
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This paper draws on data from a representative city-wide household food security survey of Nairobi conducted in 2017 to examine the importance of food remitting to households in contemporary Nairobi. The first section of the paper provides an overview of the urbanization and rapid growth of Nairobi, which has led to growing socio-economic inequality, precarious livelihoods for the majority, and growing food insecurity, as context for the more detailed empirical analysis of food security and food remittances that follows. It is followed by a description of the survey methodology and sections analyzing the differences between migrant and non-migrant households in Nairobi. Attention then turns to the phenomenon of food remitting, showing that over 50% of surveyed households in the city had received food remittances in the previous year. The paper then uses multivariate logistic regression to identify the relationship between Nairobi household characteristics and the probability of receiving food remittances from rural areas. The findings suggest that there are exceptions to the standard migration and poverty-driven explanatory model of the drivers of rural–urban food remitting and that greater attention should be paid to other motivations for maintaining rural–urban connectivity in Africa.