An assessment of adoption of seed and fertilizer packages and the role of credit in smallholder maize production in western Kenya
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Data from informal and formal surveys in Kakamega and Vihiga districts were analyzed to describe maize farmers' circumstances and practices, identify socioeconomic and technical factors affecting the adoption of improved maize seed and fertilizer packages and the role of credit. The methodology used to collect and analyze the data is described. About 51% of the farmers grew improved maize varieties, mainly because they were high yielding. The major constraint to using improved varieties was the high price of maize seed. About 46% and 23% of adopters and non-adopters, respectively, used inorganic fertilizer, but the amount used per unit area was very low. Fertilizer use was constrained by its high price. Less than 10% of the sample farmers had used credit due mainly to lack of the required land collateral. Results of the logistic regression model showed that the use of hired labor, number of cattle owned, extension, Division and secondary education had statistically significant effect on the probability of adopting improved maize varieties. Use of hired labor, division, number of cattle owned, membership of organization and use of organic manure had statistically significant impact on the probability to adopt fertilizer.