Research Article

Determinants of forage adoption and production niches among smallholder farmers in Kenya

Published in: African Journal of Range & Forage Science
Volume 34, issue 3, 2017, pages: 157–166
DOI: 10.2989/10220119.2017.1387814
Author(s): Donald MG NjaruiKenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization-Katumani, Kenya, Mwangi GatheruKenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization-Katumani, Kenya, Elias M GichangiKenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization-Katumani, Kenya, Elikana M NyambatiKenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization-Headquarters, Kenya, Clotilda N OndikoKenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization-Mtwapa, Kenya, Keziah W Ndungu-MagiroiKenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization-Kitale, Kenya

Abstract

A study was conducted to assess factors that influence adoption of forages and choice of production niches in smallholder farms in Kenya. A total of 786 farmers (268 from coastal lowlands, 171 from eastern midlands, 132 from central highlands and 215 from north-western highlands) were interviewed using a structured questionnaire between September 2013 and March 2014. The data analysis was carried out using logistic regression models to evaluate the determinants of adoption of forages and production niches. Land tenure, access to formal education and experience in livestock farming positively and significantly (p < 0.1) influenced the adoption of forages. In contrast, distance to market, farm and household size negatively influenced the adoption of forages. Gender, age, off/non-farm income and number of livestock did not influence adoption of forages. Farm size, agro-ecological zone and type of livestock management system influenced the choice of niches for forage production significantly (p < 0.001). Land tenure did not influence the choice of forage production niche. Improving access to education and secure land tenure can enhance the adoption of forages. Research should focus on developing a decision support tool for assisting farmers to select suitable niches for integrating forages in the farming system.

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