Influence of institutional factors on Sorghum production in Nakuru County, Kenya
Ogeto, Robert M.
Onyari, Charles N.
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Agriculture in Kenya plays an important role in development as it contributes about 24% of GDP, 75% of industrial raw materials and 60% of export earnings and about 18% of the total formal employment. It also employs about 3.8 million people in farm, livestock production and fishing, while an estimated 4.5 million other people are employed in agriculture-related off-farm activities. Cereals including maize, sorghum, millet, and wheat among others largely constitute the major food items for many households, hence underlining their importance in ensuring food security. In particular, the utility of sorghum is in its climatic adaptability and household as well as industrial use. Hence it is not only a food security crop, but also a major income earner. Despite its utility, there is a remarkably low production of sorghum among Kenyan farmers against food security challenges. This paper provides insights into the institutional characteristics of farmers and how they influence their participation in its production. The institutional factors under study included access to sorghum seed, access to credit, access to contract farming, access to market information and group membership. Simple random and snowball sampling methods were applied in collecting data from 207 farmers using a questionnaire. Data collected was analyzed by the double hurdle model. Only access to seed, access to extension, access to market information and access to group membership were significantly influencing sorghum production in the study area. It was recommended that seed companies should avail improved sorghum varieties and farmers are encouraged to adopt them. There was also need for stakeholders to institutionalize access to extension, contract farming and group membership among farmers.
URIAvailable online at http://academeresearchjournals.org/journal/jaed