Evaluation of the Elasticity of Farm Output among Smallholder Farmers in Selected Agro-Ecological Zones of Embu County, Kenya
Ndirangu, Samuel N.
Mbogoh, Stephen G.
Mbatia, O. L. E.
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Aims: Low and declining levels of crop and livestock productivities in the Kenyan agriculture have been attributed to the low application of the key farm inputs. Measures to encourage application of farm inputs with the highest effect on farm output in a given agro-ecological zone (AEZs) have been hampered by lack of adequate and reliable research-based information to guide the choices. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the elasticity of farm output for some selected farm inputs across three different agro-ecological zones (AEZs) in Kenya, using data collected from Embu County in Eastern Kenya as a case study. Place and Duration of Study: The sample was collected from three agro-ecological zones, namely Sunflower, Coffee and Tea zones, in Embu county, Eastern Kenya between June 2015 and November 2016. Methodology: The data was collected from a sample comprising 384 farms that were randomly selected using multi-stage stratified sampling employing probability proportionate to size sampling procedures. A stochastic log-linearized Cobb-Douglas production function was used to estimate the elasticity of output for the key factors of production. Results: The elasticity of farm output for labour was found to be significant and positive in the Sunflower (p=.000), Coffee (p=.000) and Tea (p=.000) zones. The elasticity of farm output for fertilizer was significant and positive in the Sunflower (p=.02) and Tea (p=.01) zones. It was only in the Sunflower (p=.01) Zone where the elasticity of farm output for land was found to be significant. Conclusion: The study recommended that measures be put in place to increase labour usage in the three agro-ecological zones. The study also recommended for increased fertilizer usage in the Sunflower and Tea zones.