Factors leading to the practice of dairy farming by farmers in Matungu Constituency, Kakamega County
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The purpose of this study was to determine factors influencing farmers to practice dairy fanning in Matungu constituency, Kakamega County, Kenya. The study focused on individual dairy and mixed farmers, the study was to find out the major factors that have promoted dairy fanning in Matungu constituency, an area predominantly known for large scale sugarcane fanning. The study was to determine the extent to which dairy fanning was adequate in meeting livelihood needs of farmers. Besides the study focused on how the government supports dairy fanning. The study also focused on the market availability and how other products from dairy cattle benefit the farmers, and how the use of technology affects production. The study was divided into five chapters: Chapter one was on the background of the study, chapter two was on literature review globally regionally and locally. That is to say in the world, Africa and in Kenya. The summary was the conceptual framework which was based on dependent variable (practice of dairy farming) and independent variable (land size and technology, market availability, sugar cane farming and government support) which outlined the relationship between dependent and independent valuable stratified random sampling technique was used to draw 166 fanners out of 830 farmers, 2 livestock production officers were also selected. To give a total of 168 respondents. Which was 20% and 100% respectively which was 10% or more of the study population according to Mugenda and Mungenda(1999). The study employed a descriptive survey design with both quantitative and qualitative research design. (Orodho 2002) concludes that descriptive survey designs are used in preliminary and exploratory studies to allow researchers to gather information, summarize, present and interpret data for the purpose of clarification. This method was suitable because it allowed the researcher to question people and record their responses for analysis. Also, in a descriptive survey research, data is usually obtained through the use of surveys, questionnaires, interviews and observation methods (Kothari 1992). This method fitted the proposed study since interview schedules, observation and questionnaires were used as methods of capturing primary data. According to (Orodho 2002), research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with the economy in the procedure. The study targeted individual dairy farmers, mixed fanners and institution practicing dairy fanning in Matungu constituency and officials from the Ministry of Livestock Production and Development. Questionnaires, interviews, observations and document analysis were used to collect data. Descriptive and inferential statistic were employed in data analysis, Percentages, mean and ratio were computed and presented inform of frequency distribution tables, graphs and charts. The study revealed the factors influencing the practice of dairy farming as land size, market availability, suitable climatic conditions, government support among others. The researchers recommended other studies to be carried out in the constituency from individual fanners. The findings from this study may provide reference materials to livestock production development officers in Matungu district and policy makers in the ministry of livestock development on how to improve on the practice of dairy fanning in Kenya in general and Matungu constituency in particular.