Factors influencing soil analysis adoption among small scale holder farmers in luanda subcounty, Vihiga county Kenya.
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Most rural farms in Western Kenya comprise subsistence farming with excess production being sold to nearby markets to raise income for other need. The lifestyle and personal considerations of farmers strongly influence farm management decisions and technology adoption rates. Smallholder farmers in western Kenya are increasingly using soil analysis techniques as a means of increasing production. This research project was carried out to examine the extent of adoption of soil analysis techniques in Luanda Sub-County, Vihiga County and factors that contribute to smallholder’s behavior with respect to soil nutrient analysis. The purpose of this study was to establish the adoption rate and factors that contribute to soil nutrients analysis. The research design used in this study is descriptive survey design. A questionnaire was used to collect information from smallholder farmers. The survey instrument provided a guide to the interviewer, and covered identification of social economic status of small scale farmers, awareness level and perception on soil nutrient analysis, direct cost and benefits of soil nutrient analysis and identification of cultural beliefs and government policies associated with soil nutrient analysis. The Sample Size for this Study is (359).Three hundred and fifty nine households were sampled, the target population in Luanda County is 23,347(Twenty three thousand, three Hundred and forty seven Thousand)the data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires and analysis conducted using SPSS for windows (Version 16). From the results, the smallholder farmers can be clustered based on income levels, number of dependents, household income, gender, age and education levels of household head. Most of the smallholder farmers perceived soil nutrient analysis not beneficial. Most of those who cited that nutrient analysis was beneficial had limited information on access of the technologies. Based on the theory of planned behavior, most farmers cited awareness and interest in soil nutrient analysis even though uptake of soil nutrient analysis techniques was low. The study recommends awareness creation among smallholder farmers on access and benefits of soil nutrient analysis techniques. This will address limited information on the topic which was highlighted by respondents as the major impendent to adoption of soil nutrient analysis technologies. Based on the findings, the study also recommends capacity building of smallholder farmers to increase awareness of soil nutrient techniques, evaluation, trials and adoption. This will decrease soil analysis techniques discontinuance rates. This will also inform farmers on the benefits of analysis to improve the attitude.
University of Nairobi