Determinants of Cotton Production Among Smallholders Farmers in Kenya: The Case of Makueni County
Kimani, Martin Githuku
MetadataShow full item record
This study was carried to determine cotton production among smallholder farmers in Makueni County. The study was based on the following objectives to: Identify the challenges experienced by smallholder cotton farmers in Makueni County; indicate the responses by the Government towards cotton production in Kenya and evaluate the role of policy and institutional incentives in the production of cotton. This study was conducted in the low rainfall cotton growing areas of Makueni, county in Kenya because it is among the major areas of cotton production in Kenya where the cotton yields both at county and at farm levels are well below potential. This study employed a descriptive survey design. The target population of the study was smallholder « 1 ha) farmers who produce cotton under rain fed conditions and Extension Officers, CODA officers and KARl Officers with a sample frame of 3455 small scale farmers. Purposive sampling of target population in the cotton growing areas of Makueni County was sampled. In addition, a multistage random sampling was used to select sample of 103 cotton growers (respondents) and 12 various agricultural and cotton growing officials. Structured and semi-structured questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect data from selected individual framers and interview guide. Pilot study was done on randomly cotton growing farmers within the county. This was mainly to verify whether the items generated by the researcher displays stimulus homogeneity hence valid and reliable. The instrument was evaluated for content validity that is the extent to which the questionnaire content, which includes vocabulary, sentence structure and the questions, are suitable for the intended respondents. The studies assessed reliability by split half method. In conclusion, because Kenya's cotton sector is generally characterized by a large number of smallholder farmers with a low average yield and poor quality cotton fiber outputs making competition to be an issue particularly for small holder farmers not only in Makueni County but the entire country. The study mainly recommends that competitiveness of the cotton sub sector in Kenya should be addressed; at the moment the cost of production is high due to costs of electricity and use of outdated technology - these issues must be addressed in order to improve efficiency of production, lower costs and improve competitiveness. The state of infrastructure must also be addressed, as these are some of the concerns raised by the stakeholders to help small scale farmers. The study suggests that further studies on effects of cotton production among farmers should be carried in other parts of the country for comparison before generalization.