Food security is a major concern in the drylands of Kenya and there is need to ensure sustainable management of natural resources for enhanced, adequate and sustainable food production. The food security challenge faced by smallholder farmers in Wajir will likely worsen with the ever-ravaging effects of climate change. This research study was carried out in Wajir North sub-county, Wajir County. The study investigates the potential role of agroforestry practices in contributing to food security in the drylands of Kenya. The guiding objectives of the study were to determine service and productive functions of agroforestry as well as challenges encountered by smallholder agroforestry farmers in the drylands of Kenya. The target population of this study were smallholder farmers who practice agroforestry and selected a sample size of 81 farmers from the target population. Data collection entails use of questionnaires, interviews and observations, and analyzed using descriptive methods. The frequencies and percentages were used in interpreting various findings of the study. The study findings established that agroforestry has the potential to improve food security in the drylands through its service and productive functions of trees and animals in form of foods such as fruits, leafy vegetables, barks and roots as well as meat and milk; by supporting staple crop production through enhanced soil fertility and animals productivity through provision of fodder; by providing farmers’ with incomes through the sale of tree and animal products such as timber and surplus food crops. While challenges for agroforestry in aiding food security in the drylands of Kenya include drought, extension services, market and infrastructural constraints. Otherwise, there is strong opportunities to promote best bet agroforestry technologies in this region. To improve food security in drylands of Kenya through agroforestry, shift in policies, extension services and innovative research are required to reform the situation for the benefit of smallholder farmers and to recognize and create awareness among farmers in the drylands on agroforestry as an important investment.
Keywords: Agroforestry, Food Security, Dryland