Critical Success Factors and the Sustainability of Small Scale Horticulture Projects in Kiambu County, Kenya
Kukubo, Emma Namwei
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In the past two decades there has been increased recognition of the role of project sustainability in fostering continued benefits towards economic and social input invested in agriculture. Though projects play a crucial role in fostering advancement in the horticultural sector, complexity and enormous challenges results in intended outcomes not being achieved. Despite the growing knowledge base relating to emphasis on the need for projects success, horticultural projects have increasingly not met their objectives with the sustainability levels being relatively low. Therefore, project sustainability in the horticultural sector still remains a major challenge due to the ever merging needs from the competitive horticultural industry. The purpose of the study was to determine the critical success factors and sustainability of small scale horticulture projects in Kiambu County, Kenya. The specific research objectives of the study were to determine the effect of training programs, project financing, stakeholder involvement and production technology on sustainability of small scale horticulture projects in Kiambu County, Kenya. The theories that underpinned this study included Stakeholder’s Theory, Institutional Theory and Resource Based Theory. All the 90 horticultural projects that have been implemented in Kiambu County within a period of 5 years (2012-2018) were targeted by the study. A sample size of 76 respondents was defined using Slovin’s formula (1960) who were selected using stratified proportionate random sampling technique. The study used purely primary data which was collected using semi-structured questionnaires. Qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis while quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and inferential analysis methods. Descriptive statistics included frequencies, percentages, standard deviation and arithmetic mean while the inferential analysis entailed correlation and regression analysis. The study found a significant positive relationship between training programs, project financing, stakeholder involvement, production technology and the sustainability of horticultural projects in Kiambu County. The study also found out that there was still low adoption of these variables among the horticultural projects in Kiambu County hence optimum project sustainability was yet to be achieved. The study therefore concludes that the current sustainability of the horticultural projects is largely accounted by training, project financing, stakeholder engagement and production technologies adopted. The study recommends that the government should introduce initiatives which will foster proper implementation of the projects such as training and production technologies. The study also recommends that proper project financing should be highly considered during the projects’ formulation process to ensure that they are fully sustainable. The study will be important not only to horticultural industry in Kenya but also to other sectors and the general public.