CHALLENGES FACED BY SMALL LAND HOLDER FARMER REGARDING DECISION MAKING IN INNOVATIVE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT: AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS FROM KENYA
Declining agricultural productivity among smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa remains a major bottleneck to the continent’s agricultural sector development. In Kenya’s semi-arid lower Eastern region, efforts have been made through public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives to address food insecurity in particular. Inadequate understanding and poor documentation of factors related to challenges facing smallholder farmers in decision-making to improve farm productivity and food security exists. A study was carried out to determine the factors related to decision-making among smallholder farmers to increase farm productivity for improved food security. It involved 34 Key Informants (KI) and five Focus Group Discussions. Data were collected using a check-list, a semi-structured questionnaire and a self-administered questionnaire and analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Results showed that: farmers faced challenges in deciding how to improve their farm productivity. About 76% of KI respondents observed that some of the promoted technologies did not address farmer’s immediate needs; 65% argued that technologies were promoted without considering prevailing farmers’ circumstances. The study concluded that farmers needed accurate information to make informed farming decisions; their immediate needs required technologies with diversified utilization options; analysis of farmers’ operating circumstances was crucial. Consequently, development partners should: provide adequate information on available technologies and innovations; exploit the existing PPP meetings to promote technologies and innovations with wide utilization options; put strategies in place to analyse farmers’ circumstances and promote improved technologies and innovations to increase farm productivity for improved food security.
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