Social capital and adoption of land and water technologies among smallholder farmers in Kaloleni division, Kilifi district, Kenya
Wachira, Stephanie W
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Coastal Kenya is a food deficit area producing only 20 percent of its food requirement and is referred to as a net importer of food. However, technologies that can improve food production in the area exist and continue being developed. These technologies include: deep tillage, timely planting, use of green manure, animal manure • and fertilizer application. Social capital refers to the various social relationships and networks and the resources that become available thereof. Adoption has to do with application of at least one or all of the following land and water technologies: deep tillage, early planting, line planting, green manure, animal manure and fertilizer rates. The study set out to investigate the effect of social capital on adoption of land and water technologies by smallholder farmers in Kaloleni division of Kilifi District. The study took a representative sample of 120 smallholder farmers in three locations namely Ruruma, Rabai and Kaloleni. The objective of this study was to examine the role of social capital in smallholder farmers' access to the factors that facilitate adoption focussing on land and water technologies. The data for the study was collected using structured interviews, direct observation and in-depth interviews. The study findings show that social capital plays an important role in the process of acquiring ingredients necessary for successful adoption in terms of access to information, resource mobilisation, technology awareness and application. There was significant relationship between the various aspects for example farmers are willing to contribute resources if they trust that they will be used for the intended purpose. The results. further show that other factors play important role in adoption for example access to resource which are necessary to purchase inputs necessary for successful adoption. The study concluded that social plays an important role in technology adoption, especially in making it possible to reach a large number of farmers using limited resources. This is made possible by farmers' willingness to share information with fellow group members, friends and neighbours thus enabling spread of information. However social capital on its own does not enable technology adoption. It acts as a catalyst for accessing the ingredients necessary for successful adoption. It recommended that there is need to develop a subsidy or credit system that enable farmers purchase the inputs and implements necessary for successful adoption. Technologies developed and packaging should take into consideration the varied economic levels of farmers in order to ensure successful uptake and adoption.