Written Paper

An assessment of the adoption of seed and fertilizer packages and the role of credit in smallholder maize production in Kakamega and Vihiga Districts, Kenya  [1998]

Salasya, B.D.S. Mwangi, W.M. Verkuijl, H. Odendo, M.A. et al. Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (CIMMYT), Mexico, DF (Mexico) [Corporate Author]

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This study documents maize farmers' practices in Vihiga and Kakamega Districts of Kenya, which account for one-third of the maize area in the mandate region of the Regional Research Center-Kakamega. In both districts, farms are small and maize yields are very low. Primary data were obtained from farmers through direct interviews based on structured questionnaires. Surveys farmers were chosen through a multistage, purposive sampling procedure with simple random sampling selection. Survey data were used to identify socioeconomic and technical factors affecting the adoption of improved maize seed and fertilizer. Special attention was given to the role of credit in seed and fertilizer adoption. Farmers were grouped into adopters and nonadopters of improved maize, and the two groups were compared. Factors affecting the adoption of improved maize varieties and the use of fertilizer were analyzed using a logit model. The logit analysis showed that secondary education, cattle ownership, use of hired labor, the farmer's location (division), and access to extension all significantly influenced the adoption of improved maize varieties. Cattle ownership, use of hired labor and manure, the farmer's location (division), and membership in an organization were significant factors influencing the adoption of fertilizer. Adoption of improved maize seed and fertilizer could be encouraged by better tailoring the terms of credit to farmers' socioeconomic circumstances and by i
ncreasing the number of extension staff and farmers contacts with them.