Factors Affecting Maize Production Among Small Scale Maize Farmers in Bomet County
The purpose of this study was to investigate factors influencing maize production among small scale farmers of Bomet county, Kenya. The study was guided by the following objectives: To determine the factors affecting maize production, to determine the influence of extension services on maize production to analyze the demographic characteristics influencing maize production, to determine how costs of production influence maize production by small scale farmers in Bomet county. The target population was 18,580 both male and female consisting of small scale farmers. The estimated sample size was 202 from the target population using the Cochran 1963 formula at 7% level significance. The study employed stratified random sampling in order to include all the wards; proportionate allocation was used to determine the number of farmers from each ward that would be the respondents in the study. Systemic random sampling was used to select the actual respondents from the wards. Content validity was used where the researcher shared the research instrument with his supervisors to assess its appropriateness in content. The split-half method was employed to test the reliability of the instrument. A questionnaire with closed-ended questions was prepared and distributed to the respondents in all the wards. The questionnaires were then collected after one week. All the questionnaires were filled and were used for analysis. Data was analyzed using descriptive method. Frequency tables and percentages were used for data presentation after analysis. The findings revealed that fertilizer remains the most costly input in maize production, followed by land preparation. Also, most farmers do not attend field days and only a negligible percentage have access to credit. The national and county governments should avail subsidized fertilizer in good timing and make it easily accessible. Proper sensitization should be done by agricultural extension officers to all farmers about the available extension services and the county government should provide sufficient facilitation to agricultural extension officers to promote extension services. Farmers should be encouraged to form groups in order to access credit services, market their produce and acquire farm inputs collectively. Both national, county governments and financial institutions should make credit easily accessible and affordable to small scale farmers. The researcher recommends further research on causes of low attendance of field days and low level of accessing extension services in general to ascertain the underlying causes of low dissemination of extension information.
Copyright (c) 2019 Joyce Cherono
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