Beekeeping technology adoption and its effect on resource productivity in Southern Kenya Rangelands
Muriuki, J M
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This. study was conducted to establish the, factors that determine the adoption of various beekeeping technologies and the impact of these technologies on the production of hive products. Data were collected through formal interviews by way of a structured questionnaire in Kikumbulyu and Ngwata Locations in Kibwezi Division and Utithi Location in Machinery Divisionof Kibwezi District. Systematic random sampling was applied to select a sample size of 170households. The study found out that 90 out of 170 respondents, representing 52.9%, were beekeepers, an indication that beekeeping is an important socio-economic undertaking in the area. Of the adopters,75.6% were found to be using traditional technology while the rest were using modern technology. Descriptive analysis revealed that a number of factors determine the choice of beekeeping technology in the study area. The major factors include the cost and ease of availability and management regime of a particular type of technology. Further analysis using binary logistic regression techniques indicated that the gender of a household head, size of a household, size of land holding, size of a herd and access to extension services significantly influenced the adoption of beekeeping technology. The Cobb-Douglas production function was used to measure the effects of the factors of productionamong the adopters of different beekeeping technologies The results suggested that variablecapital items, labour and managerial skills have a significant contribution to output. The study demonstrated that beekeepers are experiencing increasing returns to scale, an indication that they are producing inefficiently. In other words, they apply too little of the variable inputs compared to fixed resource outlays and that these farmers can boost output if they increase the level of variable inputs. The study also revealed that a number of constraints affect the adoption of beekeeping technology. Ranked in order of importance, these included recurrent droughts, pests and predators, vandalism, and deforestation. Inadequate extension services were also found to be hampering adoption. The study therefore recommends the provision of more focused extension packages so that farmers can acquire the necessary skills on bee management. Appropriate packages targeting women and the youth need to be developed in an effort to encourage adoption by these groups. The capacity of the existing farmer groups and associations involved in beekeeping activities should also be strengthened in an effort to enhance productivity.