Social economic factors affecting farm yield in Siaya District, Siaya County, Kenya
Over the years, agriculture production in Kenya has been facing challenges that have contributed to reduced productivity. In Siaya District there is food deficit due to reduced farm yields. The purpose of this study was to establish how social economic factors affect farm yield in Siaya District, Siaya County in Kenya. The research objectives were to establish the effect of the farmers’ income on farm yield, to determine how the level of education affect farm yield, to establish the effect of the farmer’s experience on the farm yield and to establish the effect of the family labour on farm. From literature reviewed it was shown that age is a proxy for a farmer’s experience and could prove positive for farm yields. Higher household income will enable a household satisfy its basic requirements and have a surplus for productive activities such as buying fertilizer and other inputs, and engaging labour. Household size may influence farm yield positively in that large households will be able to provide the labour that might be required. Education could impact positively on household head’s ability to take good and well-informed farm production decisions improving yields. This research followed the descriptive method and qualitative and quantitative approach was used. The target population was the households in Siaya District where stratified sampling method was used. The sample included 378 respondents. A questionnaire was used to collect data from the household heads and an interview schedule used to collect information from an experienced local farmer and the area agricultural extension officer. Frequencies and percentages, means and Persons product-moment correlation were used to analyze the data using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings show that there is a positive relationship between family labour and farm yield. More than half of households derive their human labour for the farm work from the family. There is a negative relationship between farmer’s experience and farm yield. The study also shows that there is a negative relationship between the farmer’s education and the farm yield. While farming opens up an individual to better understanding of issues, it also enables an individual to exploit other livelihood activities so that they may show less interest in farming or to invest in it. There is a positive and significant relationship between the farmers’ income and the farm yield. This shows that sufficient investments in the farming sector would give better yields. It is recommended that there is need for more agricultural extension services in the district, financing the farmers, farmers should keep records of farm activities and a government policy to ensure farmers are aware of new technology and also availing affordable farm inputs.