Adoption of biogas technology as an alternative energy source in Gakawa Location, Nyeri County, Kenya
Ikonya, Samuel Ndung’u
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ABSTRACT This study aimed at evaluating the factors influencing the adoption of biogas as an alternative energy source in Gakawa location, Nyeri County. The study delved into the socio cultural factors which influence the adoption potential of biogas technology; the attitude towards adoption of biogas technology among the small scale farmers and the role of formal and informal institutions in the use of biogas as an alternative energy source. Using multi stage sampling a sample of 351 households was sampled to capture the experiences of biogas adopters and other potential adopters. Primary data was collected through a questionnaire consisting of both open ended and close ended questions. Secondary data was accessed from key informants such as agricultural extension officers, heads of local cooperative dairy society, and Non-Government Organization coordinators, involved in the energyenvironment landscape. Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences and results presented in frequency tables. The study reveals that the household characteristics contributed to the attitude towards adoption. The result showed that, Biogas Technology adoption was significantly affected by the age, gender and educational level of the farmer (R2 = 0.045, 0.077 and 0.094 respectively), P < 0.05. The study revealed that 66.7 % of the respondents have poor understanding of biogas technology. The results indicated the ineffectiveness of community development officers (46.2 %), and extension officers’ failure to spend time with the farmers (48.4 %), as the main reasons that hinder adoption. The study thus revealed great gaps in the extension services envisaged to provide the requisite information r=.0.228, P=0.0001. The study recommends a participatory approach with all stakeholders towards improving rural incomes and access to affordable credit facilities. The study recommends the revitalization of the extension services in the concerned department and the strengthening of community resource groups that sensitize the local community to engage in other livelihood strategies that do not destroy the environment. This is with the aim of making adoption of biogas as an alternative energy source.