Analysis of the Key Challenges Facing Potato Farmers in Oljoro-Orok Division, Kenya
Makokha, G. L.
Karanja, Amon Mwangi
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the key challenges facing potato production in Oljoro-Orok division. Primary data were obtained from randomly selected farmers through questionnaires. Purposive sampling was used to select 300 farmers in the division. Proportionate sampling was used to select the sample of farmers in each of the four locations. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics namely frequencies, percentages and means with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 17.0 and a SWOT matrix computed. Rainfall variations, lack of clean seeds and crop diseases have been found to be the major challenges facing potato production in the division. 45% of the respondents see rainfall variation as the main cause of decreased potato yields, 33% lack of clean seeds and 6% crop diseases. The study found that farmers use crop diversification and off season approaches to adapt to rainfall variability. The study recommends adaptation measure to be applied to cope with rainfall variation. Such measures include irrigation using water available in Jacob, Terracin and Kivindo dams during dry spelt. A lot of emphases on the use of certified seeds should be done by the agriculture field officers to caution farmers from planting the same potatoes they harvested in the previous harvest.