The Effect of Butternut Squash (Cucurbita moschata) on the Incomes of the Small-Holders in Suba District, Kenya
Isaboke, Hezron N.
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Butternut squash is an emerging economic crop in Kenya with ready market and high nutritional value. It was introduced to promote food security and enhance the incomes of the small-holder farmers in Suba district. However it is not clear whether butternut could address the problem of low income among small-holder farmers. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of butternut squash on the incomes of the small-holders. The choice of the study area was due to persistence of poverty problem and existence of butternut squash in Suba District. Cross-sectional data was collected from a sample of 120 farmers who obtained using multi-stage sampling. The small-holder farmers were characterized using descriptive statistics. Gross Margin analysis was used to determine the contribution of butternut squash to total crop income. Gross margin analysis results revealed that butternut squash was a profitable enterprise similar to the other horticultural crops. Results showed that on average butternut squash contributes 38.55% with a standard deviation of 12.2% towards the total crop gross margin/ha. This study therefore, recommends that government and other stakeholders should formulate and implement effective policies related to promotion of butternut squash farming and marketing.