Influence of Youth Access to Farm Products Markets on Their Participation in Agriculture in Kajiado North Sub-County
Njeru, Lucy K.
Mwangi, John Gowland
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Agriculture in Kenya has great untapped potential for providing employment opportunities for youth that would enable them exploit their creativity, economic innovation and access to agricultural product markets in order to spur faster national economic growth. Reducing cereal importation in Kenya through local investment and expanding of markets for agricultural products can effectively create youth employment. A number of youth took part in agriculture in Kajiado North Sub- County with maize being the most preferred crop while poultry keeping the most preferred livestock activity by youth The influence of youth access to markets for agricultural products on their participation in agriculture in Kajiado North SubCounty was poorly understood and hence the need for this study, which used a cross-sectional design to collect data from 397 randomly, selected youth and 22 youth and agricultural officers. Content validity of the youth and agricultural officers’ questionnaires was ascertained by extension experts while reliability was determined through a pilot test involving 30 respondents. The reliability coefficient were 0.86α and 0.80α respectively, which were above the 0.70 threshold for acceptable reliability. The results showed a statistically significant positive relationship (r=.330, p=.01) between youth access to markets and their participation in agriculture. It also showed that youth access to markets influenced their participation in agriculture with 57.4% of the respondents indicating that poor infrastructures and limited knowledge on market prices reduced their access to markets for agricultural commodities. Youth with easy access to markets for their products had higher participation rates in agricultural activities than those with minimal access to markets. The government and other actors should support formation of organizations that can give youth the necessary bargaining power to interact on equal terms with other market actors in order to reduce transaction costs through economies of scale when buying inputs and selling produce.