Impact of Project Management Principles to Performance of Agribusiness Projects. A Case of Kinango District of Kwale County.
Karanja, John Mwangi
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When a company or persons or individuals invests time, money and other resources in a project, the primary concern is what they are getting in return, for their investments. Statistics regarding agribusiness projects in Kinango which include maize, sorghum, cowpeas, green grams and cassava have shown that their performance are below expectations in terms of output and financial returns. In addition, current production per hectare of the agribusiness projects in question is lower compared to potential production per hectare thus resulting to low gross margin per acre. Food insecurity in Kinango area is very high hence the need to improve performance of agribusiness projects thus increasing-output and financial returns in order to address hunger, dependency on relief food and prevailing extreme poverty levels and poor socio-economic welfare of the rural fork. Agribusiness projects' performance depend on adherence to the principles of project management which include: needs establishments from all the stakeholders; sound planning; effective organizational frame work; effective implementation strategies; monitoring and control and finally evaluation. The researcher's study therefore sought to assess the effects of project management principles to performance of agribusiness projects in Kinango area of Kwale County. The study used descriptive research design. Data collected to help answer the research questions of the study included: the percentage of application of principles of project management to all agribusiness projects (maize, cassava, cowpeas, green grams and sorghum); the percentage of application of principles of project management per project and each agribusiness project pertormance in terms of oUtPUI variation and financial returns variation, The population under consideration waj5 mixed farming households in Kinango area of Kwale County who adds up to 7,519. The researcher used stratified sampling procedure to determine the sample size since different farmers' undertake different agribusiness projects hence a partitioned sample frame existed. In order to collect meaningful and unbiased data, the study used questionnaire, interview and observation as the data collection tools. Data analysis included sorting, cleaning and organization of data from the field questionnaires. The information was coded and entered into a spread sheet and analyzed using SPSS (statistical package for social sciences). The data was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative techniques. The data was presented using descriptive statistics, percentages and frequency tables. The study established that quality project management practices which included planning, risks assessment, needs establishment, effective and efficient plan implementation, effective organizational framework, monitoring, controlling and evaluation of the projects' results promoted the performance of agribusiness projects but the respondents (80.4%) from the studyhave not been implementing all the project management principles thus under performance of their agribusiness projects in terms of their output and financial returns where the achieved output and financial returns was lower than the expected from the years 2006 to 2011 .