Irrigated farming can play a great role to enhance agricultural development in Kenya, given that Kenya's economy is predominantly agricultural based and that about 80% of Kenya's land area is arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) where annual rainfall rarely exceeds 400 millimetres. However, irrigation tends to be carried out under intensive water use and low water use efficiency in many parts of the world, Kenya included. Household characteristics and subsidized or low water charges have been identified as a major contributor to intensive water use and low water use efficiency in irrigation. Therefore, characterization of farm households that irrigate and determination of efficient prices for irrigation water should be a prerequisite to formulation of appropriate water pricing in irrigation development policies. Taking the Ahero Rice Irrigation Scheme (ARIS) that is managed by the National Irrigation Board (NIB) in Kenya as a case study, this paper analyzes the characteristics of the household at the ARIS and critically evaluates the implications of economic aspects of rice production on the pricing of irrigation water at the ARIS. For production at economic optimum, average total cost (ATC) should be equal to average total revenue (ATR) or the average gross margin (AGM). This study estimated the total volume of water used in rice production at the ARIS at 5,679 m3 per acre per season, with the average total cost of rice production at the scheme being estimated at Ksh. 87,800 per acre per season. The cost of irrigation water accounts for about 44.65% of that cost of rice production. Given these figures, the residual value of irrigation water at the ARIS is thus Ksh. 39,202 per acre per season and this figure translates into a unit residual value of Ksh. 6.91 per m3, which is the economic value of the irrigation water used at the ARIS. Since the NIB levies a water charge of Ksh. 3,100 per acre per season to meet its costs of operation and maintenance of the ARIS, this study implies that the NIB water charge is about 12.65 times below the economic value of the irrigation water. This water charge reflects a relatively high level of water use subsidy which is inefficient and unjustifiable from an economic criterion. The NIB should thus raise its charge for irrigation water to a reasonable level relative to the economic value of that water to minimize the misuse of the water and improve water use efficiency.
This study set out to find out the profitability of engaging in activities that add value to the smallholder farmer’s potato produce after harvest so that it fetches a better price to improve on household income. The study was a survey where structured pre tested questionnaires were administered to potato farmers. Data were collected from 200 smallholder potato farmers in the highland districts of Kabale and Mbale in two potato growing seasons between December 2011 and August 2012. Thirty farmers were randomly selected from each of the two parishes in Wanale to give a sub-sample of 60 farmers from Mbale district. On the other hand, 35 farmers were randomly selected from each of the four parishes in Kabale district giving a total sub-sample of 140 farmers, and 60 farmers from Mbale district. Descriptive statistics, breakeven analysis and a bivariate probit model were used to analyse the data. Results indicated that 23% of all farmers had added value to seed potato while 88.5% had added value to table (ware potato). Kabale had a significantly higher number of farmers (P<0.01) adding value to seed potato than Mbale while the reverse was true for ware potato. Results of the break even analysis showed that value addition to both ware and seed potato at the farm was profitable with value adding farmers earning 40% more than those who did not add value. Bivariate probit results indicated that how much a farmer harvested influenced their decision to add value to ware potato while access to extension services significantly and positively influenced value addition to seed potato. Adding value to potato at the farm is therefore a profitable venture that can be used to increase household incomes according to these results.
This research was undertaken to investigate the determinants of poverty among groundnut farming households in Jigawa State. Primary data were obtained through the use of well-structured questionnaire from a sample size of 227 groundnut farming households. The data were analyzed using Foster-Greer-Thorbecke's (FGT) Weighted Poverty Index and Tobit regression model. The results of the (FGT) Weighted Poverty Index showed that the poverty headcount, poverty gap and poverty severity of poor groundnut farming households were 42%, 46% and 77% respectively using an estimated poverty line of 46,320.53. The factors that significantly influenced the poverty intensity of groundnut farming households in the study area were found to be age of household head which was negative and significant at 10%, marital status of household head was negative and significant at 1%, education was negative and significant at 5% and membership of cooperative was negative and significant at 5% These factors significantly decreased poverty which was in line with apriori expectations while that of farming experience and extension contact were positive and significant at 1% and 5% respectively. Government should improve in the educational opportunities of the farmers which will lead to increased income, there is also need for regular sensitization and increased mobilization of groundnut farming households to join farmers’ cooperative group especially for those who do not belong to any group.
Aims: The study was conducted to determine the relationship of gender and farmer’s involvement in the production activities of Bambara groundnut, the local crop which is intended for production-for-use. Study Design: Interview and a questionnaire were administered to 120 farmers in two districts. The districts neighbor each other and do share common ecological attributes and therefore, provided sufficient population for the study. Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in 2009 in Mumias and Butere Districts of Western Kenya. Methodology: Level of involvement of farmers’ in bambara production activities was measured by farmers’ participation in land preparation, planting, weeding, pest control, harvesting, drying, threshing and winnowing. A production activities index (P.A.I) was computed. Results: The findings indicate that the significant relationship between gender and participation of farmers in production activities of Bambara groundnut. The study revealed that a majority of the respondents in Mumias were females while those in Butere were males. However, in general, there were more female than male farmers involved in the production of Bambara groundnut in Mumias and Butere Districts. The overall mean age for the farmers was 43.9 years which is similar for the age representation of rural farmers according to most studies. The farmers in the study area practiced agriculture on an average of ¼ an acre. The highest acreage was found to be approximately 16 and 18 acres for Butere and Mumias respectively. On education level, farmers were found to be literate with 51.7% of the farmers having reached primary level, 39.2% secondary level and 4.2% tertiary level which are in contrast with other studies that have established high illiteracy level of among rural farmers. Results of data analysis revealed that involvement level of female farmers was higher than the male farmers in production activities in the two. For Production Activities Index; female farmers’ PAI = 2.7 while male farmers’ PAI = 1.9. Conclusion: Results of data analysis revealed that involvement level of female farmers was higher than the male farmers in production activities in the two Districts with female farmers exhibiting a higher level of involvement. Extension agents should make female farmers their priority in trying to revive production of the crop.
There is a high level of pests and diseases infestation in cocoa farms in Nigeria which has resulted in a huge loss in cocoa output. Extension has been found as a veritable and vital source of technical and useful Agricultural information towards sustainable Agricultural development, but its activities are being curtailed by its low number compared to farmers’ population in the country. It is in view of this that the study examined farmers’ utilization of indigenous knowledge techniques for the control of cocoa pests and diseases in Ekiti State Nigeria. The study spanned through January 2011 and July 2012. It specifically ascertained the socio-economic characteristics of the cocoa farmers in the study area, the indigenous control practices of the farmers, sources of information on indigenous methods of cocoa pests and diseases control and examined the effects of extension activities on the utilization of indigenous methods for cocoa pests and diseases control. A purposive random sampling technique was used to select 120 cocoa farmers in the study area. Data was collected using a validated questionnaire and data collected was analysed using means, frequencies, percentages, chi- square and Person product moment correlation. Findings from the study revealed that majority (81 percent) of the farmers were males, 60 percent was above 50 years of age, and majority (75 percent) was married. A large percentage (75.8 percent) of the farmers had formal education. A large percentage (88 percent) received information on indigenous control methods from their parents and grandparents. The result from the study revealed that there was a significant relationship between sex (X2= 4.253, P≤0.05) and the religion (X2=19.160, P ≤0.05) of the respondents and the use of indigenous control methods. Similarly, findings revealed that there was a significant relationship between yield(r= 0.325, P ≤0.05), cost of pesticides (r= 0.258, P ≤0.05), income (r= 0.276, P ≤0.05) and farm size (r= 0.828, P ≤0.05) of the respondents and the use of indigenous methods of controlling diseases. There was no significant relationship between extension activities(r= 0.716, P ≤0.05) and farmers’ use of indigenous knowledge. There is the need for extension workers and policy makers to study the farmers’ attitudes, cultural universe and skills in order to deal with them effectively for improved cocoa production.
Two types of ready- to- use (RTE) amylase rich malted mixes (ragi or wheat mixed with green gram) were formulated and laddu, roti, kheer and porridge were suitably prepared and analyzed for overall acceptability. The results of organoleptic evaluation rated between very poor (1) to very good (5) for all the sensory attributes such as appearance, colour, flavor, texture and overall acceptability were measured. The results of physical parameters reveal that malting decreased grain length, width, kernel weight (0.45to 19.0g), volume (0.50 –31.2 ml), hardness (1.12 to 5.9 kg/cm2) and reduced the bulk density. Wheat malted mix had significantly higher (P<0.05) fat (2.27 g), carbohydrate (98.0 g) and calorie (396 kcal) content. Significantly higher (P<0.05) calcium (440 mg), thiamine (0.7 mg) and riboflavin (0.9 mg) content was observed in ragi malted mix compared to native and germinated grains. When compared to the native grains and malted mixes germinated green gram had significantly higher protein (33.0 g), fiber (11.5 g), iron (8.0 g) and vitamin C (157.8 mg) content.