the Adoption of Improved Maize Kenya Production Technologies among Smallholder
Farmers in Kericho County,
MATACHO MATTHEW ROBLE
EMAIL: [email protected]
SUPERVISOR: DR. DAVID JAKINDA
Department of Agricultural
of Nairobi, Kenya
study assessed on adoption of technology to increase maize productivity in
Kericho parts of Kenya. Based on the results, it showed that 74% of farmers
have adopted the use of improved technologies in maize production. The main findings
that were found to be significant influence on farmer’s adoption of improved
technology arefertilizer applications on use of these technologies to improved
yields, the accessibility of creditand information on improved technologies that
influences the technology adoption among small holder farmers. Previous studies
have focused on the agronomic factors and diseases for maize production with
only a few looking at the technological and practices in maize production. However,
this study will address in the little knowledge of some of the technologies
used in maize production.The study is important in that it will provide
information on adoption of farming techniques by smallholder farmers. This study
interviewed 80 smallholder maize farmers in Kericho County. A structured
questionnaires will be used to collect primary data. Data will be analyzed
using descriptive methods including bar graphs, cross tabs and tables. Data
entry, cleaning and analyses will be done in SPSS version 21.
Technology Adoption; Maize Productivity; Smallholder Farmers; Kenya.
Sub-Saharan Africa, about 70% of the poor live in rural areas. They greatly dependent
on their natural resource base, particularly soil and its productive capacity. The
main physical asset of most poor farmers is land, and its contribution to the income
that is far more important than its physical capital. Land degradation in the
form of soil erosion and nutrient depletion pose a threat to food security and
the sustainability of agricultural production. In Kenya, the magnitude of the soil
erosion losses to the economy has been estimated as equivalent to US$390
million annually or 3.8% of gross domestic product (Cohen et al., 2006)
Use of certified seeds among
smallholder maize farmers has not resulted in corresponding increases in
production despite the fact that about three quarters of smallholder maize farmers
have adopted improved seed. Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural
performance has variably called the world’s foremost global challenge (United
Nations, 1997) and as “still very far behind” the rest of Africa (Odulaja and
Kiros, 1996 p.86). Moreover, the continent’s population is increasing, and is
expected to account for30% of the underdeveloped world by the year 2010.
A recent study by Tegemeo Institute
of Agricultural Policy and Development and the University of California found
that by targeting the right variety which can be grown in the area, maize
productivity will increase by 40%. Therefore, challenges remain in getting
farmers to adopt such technologies. Many farmers cannot afford the higher cost
of improved seed and fertilizer and have no access to financing. Some cannot
afford fertilizer to maximize yields, while some plots with poor soils do not
respond to fertilizer. Others simply do not have access to verifiable certified
seed and fertilizer in the local stores. First, farmers need to learn about the
new varieties. Information about these varieties is often scanty which resulted
in farmers having unmet expectations that may result in failure to adopt these
technologies. Secondly, farmers should use complementary inputs to the
recommended levels. Although technological innovation has been proven to
increase yields for key produce, combined use of fertilizer and improved seed remain
still low. The study found that although farmers use the correct seed rate for
hybrid seeds (a farmer should plant between 8-10 kilograms of seed per acre),
farmers use slightly above the recommended rate for fertilizer. Farmers should ensure
the fertilizer used enriches the soil.
recent study by KALRO in 2015 showed that majority of soils in the
maize-growing region is acidic. Therefore, farmers should use fertilizers that
are blended with the required nutrients and trace minerals to maximize their
output. Key to getting farmers to increase use of fertilizer is providing
innovative financing option to 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 easily understandable for them to make the necessary
The present study contributes to the
literature by analyzing the adoption of technology on maize productivity by
smallholder farmers in Kericho parts of Kenya. The specific objectives of the study
is to determine whether access to information affects farmers in adoption of
maize improvement technology, examines current maize-farming
practices; and to analyze farmer characteristics towards modern farming
techniques that influenced adoption in Kericho, Kenya
study uses farm-household survey data and descriptive methods. This provides
insights for strengthening the national extension systems that are now under
the county governments. Increasing the food available per capita requires a
paradigm shift to overcome yield stagnation. This entails policy interventions
that will operationalize the promotion of technology bundles that complement
each other to boost crop yields, diversify technology options, and address
liquidity and investment constraints. Technology adoption is a function of both
smallholder farmer demand and the markets available to them. By increasing
investments in research and development can lead to well-tailored innovations
such as certified seeds and fertilizers that can overcome pest and diseases in
mid-altitude areas. Improving access to credit and markets would help ensure that
innovations in seed systems are truly profitable for smallholder farmers. With
available land resources and the general risky nature of the sector, there is
no doubt that farmers will rely more on technological innovations to boost
productivity. This should enable smallholder farmers to harness arising
opportunities for improved household welfare from participating in the market.
2.1 STUDY AREA
study was conducted in three sub-counties namely Kipkelion East, Kipkelion West
and Sigowet Sion constituencies in Kericho County which are the representative
of maize growing areas by small holder farmers. According to recent 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.
DATA SAMPLING AND COLLECTION
The data was collected through
household survey using a structured questionnaire. This was administered
through face-to-face interviews. The probability sampling methods can be used
to ensure representatives in this study for small holder farmers in Kenya.
A total of 80 small holder farmers were
interviewed. The systematic random sampling was used on
an individual households for the study for a given constituency/ location. This
method is convenient in a scattered population over a large population size.
2.3 DATA ANALYSIS
1: Descriptive statistics from the survey
Natural hazards present(% yes)
View on Hybrid seeds (% yes)
Fertilizer application (% yes)
Access to credit (% yes)
Farming as a primary activity (% yes)
Average maize yields (Bags)
Average Age (Years)
Average Years of schooling (Years)
Average Size of the land (acres)
Average Income (KSH)
2: Partial Correlation
3.0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
APPLICATION ON MAIZE PRODUCTIVITY
3. Fertilizer application on Maize productivity
results reported in Table 3 above show that most farmers have adopted the use
of fertilizer application to increase maize productivity. This implies that
maize productivity increases with the use of fertilizers on farms.
addition, the study showed (See Table 1) that 74% of farmers have adopted the
use of improved fertilizers on their farms. Indicating that fertilizers have a
positive impact on productivity.
CREDIT ON MAIZE PRODUCTIVITY
shown in Table 4 below most farmers have access to formal credit. This is
because of availability institutions offering credit.66% of farmers were able
to secure a credit to increase their productivity as shown in Table 1.
4: Formal credit on maize productivity
from the household survey indicate more than60% of farmers sold their produce at
nearest local market than to cooperative society and government agency. This is
because of most farmers are able to access market and sell their produce in
time. See Table 5
5: Sale of produce by farmers
CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS
training is critical on improved technologies to improve production portfolio. Providing
enough knowledge to most farmers helps to improve the current food security
situation in Kenya.
is need for increasing use of inputs such as certified seeds and inorganic
fertilizers which can greatly improve productivity of maize in Kenya. Improving
access to credit and markets could help ensure that innovations in seed systems
are truly profitable for smallholder farmers.
for researchers and policy makers be funded to measure the impact of providing
formal credit on productivity.
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