David M.O. Ayieko, Eric K. Bett, Lucy W. Kabuage


Farmer groups in the world provide farmers with economies of scale, access to information, credit and markets. These farmer groups are an important intervention in Africa, due to the structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) initiated in the eighties. As a result Kenya has experienced market liberalization and reorganization in agriculture services delivery. Consequently small scale farmers are constrained in production and marketing. However, few farmers in Makueni County belong to farmer groups. In addition there is little information on why this situation persists. Therefore the objectives of the study were to assess participation of farmer in groups and determine the effect of socioeconomic characteristics on this participation. A total of 130 households were sampled in a survey, using a multistage sampling technique. The data were collected using a structured questionnaire then analyzed using descriptive statistics and Tobit regression in STATA11. The results showed that:-  group activity, age of group, access to market information, sex of household head, education of household head, land size, off farm income and distance to the nearest market had a significant effect on joining groups. Policy must focus on financing groups, provision of market information and improvement of infrastructure.


Distance, activity, infrastructure, income, land size, market information


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