Analyzing certified seeds among smallholder maize farmers has not

Analyzingthe Adoption of Improved Maize Kenya Production Technologies among SmallholderFarmers in Kericho County,  MATACHO MATTHEW ROBLEA87/31260/2014EMAIL: [email protected]  SUPERVISOR: DR. DAVID JAKINDADepartment of AgriculturalEconomicsUniversityof Nairobi, Kenya JANUARY, 2018              ABSTRACTThisstudy assessed on adoption of technology to increase maize productivity inKericho parts of Kenya. Based on the results show that 74% of farmers have adoptedthe use of improved technologies in maize production. The main factors thatwere found to be significant influence on farmer’s adoption of improvedtechnology arefertilizer applications on use of these technologies to improvedyields, the accessibility of creditand information on improved technologies thatinfluences the technology adoption among small holder farmers.

Most studies havefocused on the agronomic factors and diseases for maize production with only afew looking at the technological and practices in maize production. However,this study will address in the little knowledge of some of the technologiesused in maize production.The study is important in that it will provideinformation on adoption of farming techniques by smallholder farmers. The studywill randomly interviewed80 smallholder maize farmers in Kericho County.

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A structuredquestionnaires will be used to collect primary data. Data will be analyzedusing descriptive methods including bar graphs, cross tabs and tables. Dataentry, cleaning and analyses will be done in SPSS version 21.Key words:Technology Adoption; Maize Productivity; Smallholder Farmers; Kenya. 1.0  NTRODUCTIONInSub-Saharan Africa, about 70% of the poor live in rural areas. They greatly dependenton their natural resource base, particularly soil and its productive capacity. Themain physical asset of poor farmers is land, and its contribution to theirincome which is far more important than the physical capital.

Land degradationin the form of soil erosion and nutrient depletion pose a threat to foodsecurity and the sustainability of agricultural production. In Kenya, themagnitude of soil erosion losses to the economy has been estimated as equivalentto US$390 million annually or 3.8% of gross domestic product (Cohen et al.,2006)Use of certified seeds amongsmallholder maize farmers has not resulted in corresponding increases inproduction despite the fact that about three quarters of smallholder maizefarmers have adopted improved seed. Given that a large majority of smallholderfarmers grow maize, getting farmers to grow varieties that are suited to theirenvironments is a key strategy. Sub-Saharan Africa’sagricultural performance has been variably called the world’s foremost globalchallenge (United Nations, 1997) and as “still very far behind” the rest ofAfrica (Odulaja and Kiros, 1996 p.86).

Moreover, the region’s population isincreasing, and is expected to account for30% of the underdeveloped world bythe year 2010.A recent study by Tegemeo Instituteof Agricultural Policy and Development and the University of California foundthat by targeting the right variety which can be grown in the area, maizeproductivity will increase by 40%. However, challenges remain in gettingfarmers to adopt such technologies.

Many cannot afford the higher cost ofimproved seed and fertilizer and have no access to financing. Some cannotafford fertilizer to maximize yields, while some plots with poor soils do notrespond to fertilizer. Some simply do not have access to verifiable qualityseed and fertilizer in their local stores. First, farmers need to learn aboutthe new varieties.

Information about these varieties is often scanty, resultingin farmers having unmet expectations that may result in failure to adopt thesetechnologies. Secondly, farmers should use complementary inputs to therecommended levels. Although technological innovation has been proven toincrease yields for key staples, combined use of fertilizer and improved seedis still low. This study found that although farmers use the correct seed ratefor hybrid seeds (a farmer should plant between 8-10 kilograms of seed peracre), farmers use slightly above the recommended rate for fertilizer. Farmers shouldensure the fertilizer used enriches the soil.Arecent study by KALRO in 2015, a majority of soils in the maize-growing regionare acidic. Therefore, farmers should use fertilizers that are blended with therequired nutrients and trace minerals to maximize their output. Key to gettingfarmers to increase use of fertilizer is providing innovative financing optionto farmers, and improving knowledge and access to required mix of nutrients.

Thirdly, farmers should be able to get the knowledge in a way that is easilyunderstandable for them to make the necessary decisions.The present study contributes to theliterature by analyzing the adoption of technology on maize productivity bysmallholder farmers in Kericho parts of Kenya. The specific objectives of the studyis to determine whether access to information affects farmers in adoption ofmaize improvement technology, examines current maize-farmingpractices; and to analyze farmer characteristics towards modern farmingtechniques that influenced adoption in Kericho, KenyaThestudy uses farm-household survey data and descriptive methods. This providesinsights for strengthening the national extension systems that are now underthe county governments. Increasing the food available per capita requires aparadigm shift to overcome yield stagnation. This entails policy interventionsthat operationalize the promotion of technology bundles that complement eachother to boost crop yields, diversify technology options, and address liquidityand investment constraints.

Technology adoption is a function of bothsmallholder farmer demand and the markets available to them. Increasinginvestments in research and development can lead to well-tailored innovationssuch as certified seeds and fertilizers that can overcome pest and diseases inmid-altitude areas. Improving access to credit and markets could help ensure thatinnovations in seed systems are truly profitable for smallholder farmers. Withpersistent pressure onavailable land resources and the generally risky nature of the sector, there isno doubt that farmers will rely more on technological innovations to boostproductivity. This would enable smallholder farmers to harness arisingopportunities for improved household welfare from participating in the market.2.0  METHODOLOGY2.

1  STUDY AREAThestudy was conducted in three sub-counties namely Kipkelion East, Kipkelion Westand Sigowet Sion constituencies in Kericho County which are the representativeof maize growing areas by small holder farmers. According to Kenya Census 2009,the total population of people living in Kericho County were 758, 339 with 381,980 and 376, 359 male and female respectively.  2.2DATA SAMPLING AND COLLECTIONThe data wascollected throughhousehold survey using a structured questionnaires that was administeredthrough face-to-face interviews. The systematic random sampling was used on anindividual households for the study for a given constituency/ location. This methodis convenient in a scattered population over a large population size.This probability sampling methodscan be used to ensure representatives in this study for small holder farmers inKenya.

A total of 80 small holder farmers were interviewed.     2.3 DATA ANALYSIS           Table1: Descriptive statistics from the survey Variable Descriptive statistics  N=80 Natural hazards present(% yes) 56 View on Hybrid seeds (% yes) 73 Fertilizer application (% yes) 74 Access to credit  (% yes) 66 Farming as a primary activity (% yes) 68 Average maize yields (Bags) 3.72                              Average Age (Years) 3.

44 Average Years of schooling (Years) 3.84 Average Size of the land (acres) Average Income (KSH) 2.14 3.55                    Table2: Partial Correlation    GENDER AGE MARSTATUS LAND SIZE EDUCATION INCOME GENDER 1 -0.035 0.035 0.

081 0.019 0.145 AGE -0.

035 1 0.312 0.419 0.371 0.256 MARSTATUS 0.

081 0.419 1 0.365 0.

129 0.334 LAND SIZE 0.019 0.37 0.365 1 0.089 0.410 EDUCATION 0.

125 -0.069 0.129 0.089 1 0.292 INCOME 0.237 0.168 0.

249 .0.418 0.113 1                           3.0  RESULTS AND DISCUSSION  A.   FERTILZERAPPLICATION ON MAIZE PRODCUTIVITY Table3. Fertilizer application on Maize productivityTheresults reported in Table 3 above show that most farmers have adopted the useof fertilizer application to increase maize productivity. This implies thatmaize productivity increases with the use of fertilizers on farms.

Inaddition, the study showed (See Table 1) that 74% of farmers have adopted theuse of improved fertilizers on their farms. Indicating that fertilizers have apositive impact on productivity.      B.    FORMALCREDIT ON MAIZE PRODUCTIVITYAsshown in Table 4 below most farmers have access to formal credit. This isbecause of availability institutions offering credit.

66% of farmers were ableto secure a credit to increase their productivity as shown in Table 1.  Table4: Formal credit on maize productivityC.   SALEOF PRODUCEResultsfrom the household survey indicate more than60% of farmers sold their produce atnearest local market than to cooperative society and government agency. This isbecause of most farmers are able to access market and sell their produce intime. See Table 5   Table5: Sale of produce by farmers4.

0CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONSFarmers’training is critical on improved technologies to improve production portfolio. Providingenough knowledge to most farmers helps to improve the current food securitysituation in Kenya. Thereis need for increasing use of inputs such as certified seeds and inorganicfertilizers which can greatly improve productivity of maize in Kenya.

Improvingaccess to credit and markets could help ensure that innovations in seed systemsare truly profitable for smallholder farmers.  Needfor researchers and policy makers be funded to measure the impact of providingformal credit on productivity.   5.0 REFERENCESBesley, T., & Case, A.

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1984. “The Acquisition of Information and the Adoption of NewTechnology.”American Journal of Agricultural Economics 66:312-20GoK (Government of Kenya), 1998.Economic Survey. Government Printers, Nairobi.     Katinila, N., H. Verkuijl, W.

Mwangi, P. Anandajayasekeram and A.J. Moshi. 1998.

Adoption of Maize ProductionTechnologies in Southern Tanzania. Mexico, D.F.: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center(CIMMYT), the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Southern Africa Centre forCooperation in Agricultural Research.Nkonya, Ephraim, Peter Xavery,Herman Akonaay, Wilfred Mwangi, PoniaAnandajayasekeram and Alfred Moshi.

1998.”Factors Affecting Adoption of Maize Production Technologies in NorthernTanzania.” Mimeo. Kansas State University.

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