Socio-economic implications of miraa cultivation in Igembe Division of Nyambene District Kenya
Kieni, L K
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The ever .increasing role of agriculture 1n the developing countries led the researcher to carry out a study on the socioeconomic implications of miraa cultivation in Nyambene district. This work dealt with the roles of agriculture in development and the impact of miraa cultivation on the development of Igembe Division. It is intended to develop a background database for consideration in policy discussions on miraa and development. It will also be useful to other scholars as a basis for future research in this field which has been granted very little research attention. The main objectives of the study were to examine the socioeconomic implications of miraa cultivation in Igembe division, to assess the relationship between miraa production, education levels, and food production. It also deals with the problems facing miraa farmers and the methods of resolving these problems. Stratified sampling was used to be studied whereas systematic to identify tile sub-locations random sampling was used to select the households to which questionnaires were to be administered. A total of 60 questionnaires were administered to five sub-locations. Data was (mean, median, analyzed by use of measures of central and modes) , frequencies Here also run in tendency order to come up with the percentages. Descriptive statistics therefore, was the major tool of analysis employed. The study established that miraa is the main source of income for the people of Igembe. It also established that there are both positive and negative effects of this crop. The study recommends for mass education on the need for educating children, better health care standards, and also on the need for diversification. also a great need for reinvesting the money obtained from miraa in productive ventures. There is also need to explore for better w ay s of marketing the produce. These have been put forward as the short term solutions to the problems in Igembe. However, the issue of drugs in Kenya is increasingly becoming important and something needs to be done urgently in order to avert the impending disasters which result from drug abuse. Drugs are major sources of income and as such if this situation is to be averted people have to be given an alternative. Crop substitution would be one of the ways of going about this problem. It should be noted that as long as these drug producing crops are easily available then no solution can be said to have been found. Therefore, more studie s should be carried out on the drugging effects of miraa so that these can act as a guideline for the government in coming up with appropriate policies for miraa. Lastly this study recommends that the government should make its stand on the cultivation of miraa known as the beginning point in searching for solutions to the problems of Igembe.