Nature and sources of agricultural information and preferred channels of communication to small holder commercial broiler farmers: a case of Ruiru district of Kenya
The major objective of this research was to determine the nature and sources of agricultural information available to smallholder commercial broiler farmers and identify communication channels most preferred in improving income generation from broilers in Ruiru District of Kenya. The theoretical framework for the study included insight from Roger's theory of diffusion of innovations which states that diffusion occurs when an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among members of a social system. The research was qualitative in nature. Non probability sampling methods were used. These included purposive and snow ball sampling because the population of broiler farmers was not well known thus making it exhaustive. Research techniques included participant observation, semi structured interviews using a structured questionnaire which was administered to the respondent by both the researcher and her assistant. A total of 51 smallholder commercial broiler farmers were interviewed. Quantitative data was entered into Statistical Package for Social Scientists and analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented as frequencies showing percentages. Out of the 51 farmers interviewed, 33 of them were women while 18 were men. This therefore indicated that majority of Smallholder commercial broiler farmers in Ruiru District are women forming 65 % while 35 % men. The farmers are aged between 25 and 61 years. Those between 36 and 50 years make a total of 68% .Those between 25 Xl and 35 make up 12% while above 51 make up 20%.In respect to their marital status 73% were married,20% single,6% widows and 1% widowers. Most of them keep birds between 201 and 300 accounting for 33% of the total farmers. The type of general information on poultry production farmers have include source of day old chicks, source of feeds, appropriate housing, feeding, health care, marketing, slaughter and procedure for restocking. The major sources of information for farmers include: friends, neighbours, agents, radio, distributors, agrovet shops, buyers and News papers in that order of importance. The farmers' preferred channel of communication was farm visit. It is therefore important that both private and public extension service providers use the best method to bring the best results.