ADOPTION OF RECOMMENDED TECHNOLOGIES ALONG BANANA VALUE CHAIN AND ITS EFFECTS ON PRODUCTIVITY IN EMBU WEST SUB-COUNTY, KENYA
KATHURI, DOMINIC NTHUKURI
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Banana is one of the most important fruits in Kenya as it contributes to about 32% of the foreign income of the total exported fruits. Despite this contribution, banana farming is facing numerous challenges such as lack of clean planting material, pest and diseases and poor agronomic and crop husbandry practices leading to low productivity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate technology adoption along banana value chain and its effects on productivity among smallholder farmers in Embu West Sub-County, Embu County. The study was conducted in four wards of the Sub-County namely Gaturi South, Mbeti North, Kithimu and Kirimari. Data was collected from a sample of 384 small-scale banana farmers who were sampled using multi-stage sampling technique and proportionate to size technique. A structured questionnaire was administered to collect primary data from the respondents. To assess the extent of adoption of recommended banana technologies, descriptive statistics were applied in analysis. The results on the extent of adoption of recommended banana production technologies indicated that 63% of the smallholder farmers were at low level of adoption, 25% medium level of adoption and 12% at high level of adoption. The Cobb Douglas Production Function results indicated that amount of credit, cost of the banana plantlets, fertilizer and manure application had positive significant effects on banana productivity. On the effect of the selected recommended banana production technologies on banana productivity the result indicated that tissue culture, deleafing, use of irrigation, debudding, desuckering and banana value addition practice had positive and significant effects on banana productivity. Multinomial logistic model results indicated that farming experience, labour, extension contact, access to credit and farmers group decreases the likelihood of the farmer being in low and medium adoption level of recommended banana production technologies in favor of the preferred category, while age precipitated a negative effect. The study recommends enhanced sensitization of small-scale banana farmers on the importance of adopting the recommended banana technologies for improved banana yields per unit area.