Factors Influencing Uptake Of Exotic Dairy Goats In Kitui West Sub County, Kitui County, Kenya
Dairy goat farming has gained admiration globally and Asia is the leading producer of goats while India leads in goat milk production in the world. The African continent is ranked second to Asia in goat population and efforts are made to improve dairy goat farming in Africa. Many smallholder farmers in Kenya have developed interest in exotic dairy goats farming. A study to investigate factors influencing uptake of exotic dairy goats was carried out in Kitui West Sub-County. The study was based on the following objectives which were to; assess socio-demographic factors influencing the uptake of exotic dairy goats, determine the influence of local community leadership, establish the influence of farmers‘ management practices on the uptake of dairy goats farming and finally to assess the influence of economic factors on the uptake of dairy goats farming in Kitui West Sub-County. The target population was smallholder farmers who kept exotic dairy goats in the four sub-clusters of Kitui West Sub-County. The sample size was 178 respondents who comprised 168 smallholder farmers and 10 Extension Officers. The researcher used descriptive research design in the study and applied random sampling technique to select the respondents. The researcher used questionnaire to collect quantitative and qualitative data from the smallholder exotic dairy goat farmers and an interview guide was used to engage Extension Officers in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Development. Statistical package for social Sciences, version 21.0 was used to analyse data which was presented in percentages, frequencies and means using Tables. The findings showed that cultural background hindered the respondents from effectively engaging in exotic dairy goats farming. All the respondents were registered with respective Self Help Groups and some of them were registered with a Dairy Goats Association. Most of them reported practising dairy goat farming for 5 years. A good number of the respondents had received training on dairy goat husbandry. Majority of the farmers watered their dairy goats once a day with a few of them dipping and spraying them once in a month to control diseases and external parasites while some Farmers had access to Veterinary services. Farmers incurred higher costs on feeds at ksh.1396.00 and ksh.7052.00 monthly and annually respectively. Majority of the respondents received between 5 and 10 litres of milk per goat per lactation while some reported receiving market information from their fellow farmers and dairy goat farming was their highest income earner. From the Pearson moment correlation, there was a weak positive correlation between uptake of exotic dairy goats and social demographic factors with a correlation coefficient of 0.333 with a significant value of 0.001; which was less than 0.05. A correlation coefficient of 0.911 at 0.0003 level of confidence indicated a strong positive association between the uptake of exotic dairy goats farming and local community leadership. Also strongly positively correlated was the uptake of exotic dairy goats farming and farm management skills with a correlation coefficient of 0.872 at 0.002 level of confidence. There was strong negative correlation between uptake of exotic dairy goat farming and economic factors with a correlation coefficient of 0.044 at 0.000 level of confidence. It was concluded that socio-economic factors are significant in determining uptake of exotic dairy goats farming. The findings of this study are important because they will assist in improving breeding in goats which will improve farmers‘ income and livelihood. There is a need to strengthen awareness in order to change farmers‘ attitude in order to enhance the uptake of exotic dairy goats farming.
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