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. The results show that 74% of farmers have adopted the
use of improved technologies in maize farming. The main factors 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.Most 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. Therefore, 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 will randomly
interviewed80 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, more than 70% of the poor live in rural areas. They heavily
dependent on their natural resource base, particularly soil and its productive
capacity. The main physical asset of poor farmers is land, and its contribution
to their income which is far more important than the 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, particularly in
the less favored
areas. In Kenya, the magnitude of 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 hybrid seeds among
smallholder maize farmers has not resulted in corresponding increases in
production despite the fact that more than three quarters of smallholder maize
farmers have adopted improved seed. Given that a large majority of smallholder
farmers grow maize, getting farmers to grow varieties that are suited to their
environments is a key strategy. Sub-Saharan Africa’s
agricultural performance has been 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 region’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 for the area in which it is grown, maize
productivity increased by 40%. However, challenges remain in getting farmers to
adopt this technologies. Many 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.
Some simply do not have access to verifiable quality seed and fertilizer in their
local stores. First, and most importantly, farmers need to learn about the new
varieties. Information about these varieties is sometimes scanty, resulting 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 is proven to increase
yields for key staples, combined use of fertilizer and improved seed is 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 must ensure the
fertilizer used enriches the soil.
to a KALRO study in 2015, a majority of the soils in the maize-growing region
are 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 decisions.
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 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. Increasing
investments in research and development can lead to well-tailored innovations
such as hybrid seeds and fertilizers that can overcome pest and diseases in
mid-altitude areas. Improving access to credit and markets could help ensure that
innovations in seed systems are truly profitable for smallholder farmers. With
available land resources and the generally risky nature of the sector, there is
no doubt that farmers will rely more on technological innovations to boost
productivity. This would 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 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 wascollected through
household survey using a structured questionnaires that was administered
through face-to-face interviews. 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.
This 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.
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 PRODCUTIVITY
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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