DETERMINATION OF FARMER’S CHOICE OF FERTILIZER APPLICATION RATE AND ITS EFFECT ON THE GREENHOUSE TECHNOLOGY PERFORMANCE IN GUSII HIGHLANDS, KENYA
The study aimed at determination of farmer’s choice of fertilizer application rate and its effect on the greenhouse technology performance and come up with recommendations for improvement based on the findings in Kisii and Nyamira Counties in Kenya. The research design employed in the study was a survey research design. A purposive and multi-stage sampling technique was used to sample 276 respondents guided by target population of 1,000 and the concentration of farmers practicing the technology in the study area. Questionnaires and key informant interviews were used to collect data. Data was then computer analysed and interpreted using Microsoft excel and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) linear regression programme. The major finding of the study was/is that greenhouse tomato production in small scale farms in Kisii and Nyamira Counties is low ranging between 2,484.67kg and 6,558.50kg compared to the potential of 7,500kg and a negative mean deviation of -3609.76kg. The study found out that fertilizer application rate had a significant effect on performance of technology by 65.41kg (t= 7.450 and p= 0.000) indicating a direct and positive relationship with the highest application rate 31.47 kg corresponding to highest performance 6558.50 kg. The conclusion drawn is that there is need to invest in fertilizer and other inputs and apply recommended rates to fully exploit its potential. There is need to address other identified constraints facing farmers investing in the technology in specific areas of extension provision, structural design, inputs supply and policy. The study findings informed the recommendations on the future of greenhouse technology in the study area and other areas with similar physical and socio-economic environment to enhance uptake, adoption and ensure farmers benefits from in the greenhouse technology investment.
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