Devolution of Agriculture and its Effects on Mango Marketing by Small-Scale Farmers in Makueni County, Kenya
The study aimed to evaluate the devolution of agriculture and its effects on mango marketing by small-scale mango farmers in Makueni County, Kenya. It utilised a descriptive research design and collected data in narrative and numerical formats from mango farmers in the county. The study used a semi-structured questionnaire and interviews; data was collected using a stratified random sampling technique. Quantitative data was analysed using frequencies, percentages, and correlation analysis in the SPSS (V27) package, while qualitative data from interviews was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings hold significant implications for policymakers, farmers, and researchers. Furthermore, the study informs small-scale farmers about the benefits of adopting good agricultural practices to improve the quality of their mangoes. Key indicators of devolution identified in the study include improved marketing guidelines, farm cooperatives, processing of farm produce, infrastructure development, improved bargaining power, provision of farm inputs, funding/soft loans, and training and capacity building. The benefits of devolution for mango farmers encompass increased decision-making authority, subsidies for farm inputs, and overall improvement in their lives. Some of the challenges faced by mango farmers are limited marketing options, restricted credit availability, and low prices for their produce. Based on the findings, there is a significant positive relationship between agricultural devolution and mango marketing. The correlation analysis indicates a positive relationship between devolution and the marketing of mangoes (r = 0.572, p = 0.000). The study concluded that although mango marketing cooperatives helped farmers, the Makueni County government lacked sufficient marketing options for mango producers. This resulted in limited market access, restricted credit availability, and low prices for their produce. The study recommends collaboration between the county government and mango farmers to increase demand and marketing approaches for mangoes.
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