Economics of simsim production among .smallholder farmers in Kwale District, Kenya
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This study looked into the economics of simsim production among small-holder farmers in Kwale district by considering all the competing enterprises within the farming system. The study was prompted by the ~resent Government policy of import substitution in edible vegetabl~ oils and the observed reluctance by farmers to increase production especially of simsim. Our objective was to investigate the extent of sub-optimality in instances where simsim was being produced and the price changes that would make simsim enterprise competitive at the farm level. The methodology used was Linear progr~mming wh i ch took into account the resources at the disposal of farmers, the alternative enterprises at the. farm level.;and aimed at maximizing the total gross margins and hence the incomes of farmers. The study showed that simsim production was eliminated from the basis at optimality and the minimum price increase required to make it competitive at the farm level was two hundred percent. The policy implication of this study is that there is a need to increase the'producer price of simsim before it can be viable as an enterprise and thus meet the present Government objectives.