Effect of Production Management Skills on the Production Level of ESP Financed Aquaculture Farms in Kisumu West Constituency, Kenya
The Kenyan Economic Stimulus Program was developed with an objective to spur regional development. The program targeted the establishment of 200 fish ponds in the selected constituencies in Kenya. Farmers were trained on production management skills and capacity building by the department of fisheries and other institutions sharing similar objectives. In spite of this intervention, there has been a declining trend in the production of fish in Kisumu West Constituency. This study therefore sought to establish if a significant relationship existed between the decline in the performance of aquaculture farms and acquisition of production management skills. The main objective of the study was to establish the effect of farmer production management skills on production levels of the Economic Stimulus Program financed aquaculture farming projects in Kisumu West Constituency, Kisumu County, Kenya. A total of 389 farmers were interviewed. The population of 417 farmers consisted of farmers with different forms of financing including economic stimulus, personal, and Sacco/group loans. A descriptive survey design was employed to collect both quantitative and qualitative data to achieve the objective of the study. Data was collected using guided interview schedules, key informant interviews, observation, and the use of periodicals, publications, and journals for secondary data. Data was summarised using pivot tables analysed using thematic analysis, percentages, mean, frequency distribution, chi-square and Pearson’s correlation coefficient between the variables. The data was then presented using text, tables and graphs. It was established that capacity building and training on technical and post-harvest management skills was not effectively done by the extension officers at the initiation stage of the projects and subsequently during the project implementation. This led to a decline in the performance of farms and a high dropout rate of farmers. As a result, the objective of ESP as far as commercialisation of aquaculture farms was not achieved. The study recommends the development of aquaculture best production management practice and integrated farmer training program across the Constituency.
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