Towards a better production of sugar cane by outgrower farmers' of Webuye division,Bungoma district
Agriculture is the mainstay of Kenya's economy. The general agricultural policy has been guided by an overall strategy of meeting the objective of trying to maintain a position of broad self-sufficiency in foodstuffs and provision of raw materials for the agro-based industries. It is on this basis that this study was undertaken to try and find out how efficient provision of raw materials for the Nzoia Sugar factory by the small-holders is. The study deals with the role that out growers play in the provision of sugarcane to the Nzoia Sugar Company and the constraints that hinder better of sugarcane in Webuye Division, Bungoma District. Recommendations that would try to solve the identified constraints to sugarcane product ion are given r n Chapter Five of the study. The study found out that the government policy has favoured the development of small-scale agriculture because of the role it plays when well developed. This was revealed from the field findings whereby the production of sugarcane process was found to be labour intensive and therefore offers more employment per unit 0f hectarage grown. This meant increasing incomes to majority of the small-holders who would in turn use their earnings for improving their standards of living. But the stated policies are however not reflected in the governments action in certain areas which would support small-holder agricultural. This included the provision of credit facilities, extension services, and research. Further constraints were identified as low incomes of the farmers, poor transportation facilities, delays in harvesting and payments, poor management at the factory level, and poor distribution of inputs. The study recommended that if better production of sugarcane was to be attained so as to improve the sugar yields, the above constraints have to be solved. There is need for a concerted effort by extension officers, credit agencies and the research institutions to come in and help the small-holders to improve their production levels. Practical policy need to be reoriented to favour small-holders in credit provision, access to extension services and research. This therefore calls for the intensification of public participation in planning. To improve incomes, there is need for the diversification of crops and adoption of off-farm activities by the farmers. These recommendations if adopted will hopefully go a long way in leading to a better production of sugarcane in Webuye Division.