DETERMINANTS OF CHOICE OF AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION SOURCES AND PATHWAYS AMONG SORGHUM FARMERS IN NDHIWA SUB-COUNTY, WESTERN KENYA
Extension in Kenya, the situation with regard to relaying of information and pathways used among farmers seems unsatisfactory. This is specifically the case in the production of 3rd ranked cereal crop sorghum (sorghum bicolor (L.) by farmers in Western Kenya. Sorghum farming in Ndhiwa Sub-County in the Western Kenya region is an important agricultural activity in the economy. Sorghum is not only drought resistant, but can also withstand long periods of water logging. Several technologies have been developed by research institutions with the aim of increasing its production. However, despite joint efforts by the research agencies and partners, its production has stagnated resulting in low crop yields. This study sought to assess determinants of agricultural information sources and pathways among sorghum farmers in Ndhiwa Sub-County. A quantitative research design was used to obtain information on the study. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to collect cross sectional data from 379 sorghum farmers in Ndhiwa sub-county, Western Kenya. Data collected was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17 and adopted the multinomial logit model to find the determinants of choice of agricultural information sources/pathways. The most important sources of information were fellow farmers, Agricultural Extension Officers, researchers and Community-based Organizations (CBOs) and the pathways were farmer-to-farmer, radios, Barazas (local meetings), and trainings. Gender, age, farming experience and education of household head, farm size, land ownership, employment/off-farm activities, access to credit facility and group membership significantly influenced access to agricultural information sources while age and education of household head, farm size, farming experience of household head, membership and access to credit facilities had a significant influence on the choice of pathways. These findings raise important insights as to whether agricultural information is being disseminated and communicated to sorghum farmers through the most appropriate, affordable sources and pathways The study recommended that, a focal farmer be selected using a set of criteria or a center be established as the focal point. Whereby other farmers can send or visit. After which the questions or issues raised be channelled to the appropriate source.
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