Assessment of the Factors Affecting Farmers’ Involvement in Environmental Conservation in Gatundu North Sub-county, Kiambu County.
Farming, being an agricultural activity that utilizes water, soil, and air, can expose the environment to destruction. Farmers can therefore embrace practices that effectively conserve the environment. This study was aimed at establishing factors that affect farmers’ involvement in environmental conservation in Gatundu North Sub County. A number of variables were analyzed during the study including: knowledge and awareness level; access to information; community participation; utilization of technology; socioeconomic and political factors. The study adopted a descriptive cross sectional design. Stratified random sampling was employed to select a sample population of 384 farmers drawn from 4 wards of Gatundu North (strata), namely- Mang'u, Chania, Githobokoni, and Gituamba. Data was collected by administration of semi-structured questionnaires to the sample population. All data was recorded in Microsoft Excel sheets and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).The following statistical techniques were applied: regression, standard deviation, mean, sample size determination and hypothesis testing. The study findings indicate that 53% of the farmers were aware of environmental conservation. The findings also indicated that technology had significant effect on the involvement of farmers in environmental conservation(p=0.0002).Empirical results from a multiple regression model revealed that gender, marital status, level of education, training, extension services and land ownership are significant predictors of involvement in environmental conservation. Correlation between farmers’ perception and adoption of agro-environmental conservation practices are; pvalue= 0.043 and r-value=0.277. Technology and involvement in Environmental Conservation ranged between 0.000-1.000 in the correlation analysis. This study thus recommends that conservation practices of natural resources would be most effective when understood by individual farmers, so that analysis of farmers’ attitude would have paramount importance, not only in controlling potential conflicts but also in examining policy efficiencies.
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