Analysis of profitability of organic vegetable production system in Kiambu and Kajiado counties of Kenya
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Though there are many documented reasons that make farmers adopt organic farming system, economic benefits present a major motivation. The study was conducted to analyse the profitability of organic production system as an investment alternative to conventional farming in the two Kenyan Counties of Kiambu and Kijiado so as to appraise its contribution to improvement of rural livelihoods. The study collected data on costs and returns from 208 smallholder vegetable farmers who were composed of 78 organic and 130 conventional farmers. The means of variables of the two samples were compared using chi square, while factors associated with adoption of organic production system were analysed using logistic regression. Factors influencing profitability of organic production system were evaluated using ordinary least square regression. Organic production system was found to have higher gross margins for kales and spinach. Age, farming experience, and number of trainings attended; availability of irrigation, target market selected, production per acre, cost of production and price per unit were found to have a bearing on the profitability of an a given vegetable. In addition, age, farming experience, irrigation, land ownership and County of residence were found to be associated with adoption of organic vegetable production system.