Technical Efficiency of Small Scale Fish Farming in Kiambu County
Yegon, Kiplagat Benard
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Fish production systems in Kenya are still under developed with the yields hardly exceeding l.Ockg/mvyear. The farmers in the Country are reported to be producing between 0.05- 1.04kg/m2/year as compared to 3 to 5kg/m2/year that the Fisheries Research Institutions recommend. This necessitated analysis of the level and determinants of technical efficiency in small scale fish farming in Kiambu County. A structured questionnaire was administered to a total of 94 small scale fish farmers that were randomly selected from six sub-counties out of the 12 sub counties of Kiambu County. A Cobb-Douglas stochastic production function was used to estimate the level of technical efficiency using Maximum Likelihood Estimation method. The predicted farm specific technical efficiency ranged between 0.1847 and 0.9537 with a mean of 0.4115. The study revealed that fish feed, size of the pond and fertilizer application were statistically significant in the production of fish in the study area. Based on these findings the farmers needs to increase the size of the fish ponds, access quality fingerlings, fish feed and fertilizer in the right proportions. The age of the farmers, education level, farming experience and access to extension services affected technical efficiency negatively. On the other hand household size and access to credit services influenced technical efficiency positively. Male operated fish farms were found to be more technically efficient than female run farms. The government needs to improve extension coverage to many farmers to address simple farming anomalies such as excess utilization of feed and inaccessible yield improving technologies. Policy should be suggested to be directed to encourage the entrepreneurs in fish farming to access credit facilities to improve on their fish farming. The government should also encourage the most educated and young population to take up fish farming husbandry and not leave it to the old age farmers.