Extension Education And Farmers' Performance In Improved Crop Farming In Kakamega District, Kenya
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Studies on the adoption of farm innovations have, especially in Kenya, focused on a single innovation, or a few innovations, but not for specific crops. This paper compares the extent to which the adoption of practices in selected crop enterprises approximated the level recommended by extension workers. Data were collected from the Lugari and Ikolomani divisions of Kakamega District, which is a smallholder area. The former is a settlement area in the previously European settled areas, the latter an area of traditional African farming. We found nearly all farmers in the former area to be knowledgeable about improved farming: they observed recommended practices. This was so largely because of their having been exposed to an earlier intensive extension education and assistance programme which led to saturation of knowledge in the area. The influence of personal factors, such as formal education and economic status, on farmers' observation of recommended practices was significant only within each study area; it could not explain the marked difference in observation of the practices between study areas. Thus, the initial intensive extension programme which was part of the settlement policy has proved to have a positive, long-lasting effect which is very desirable for agricultural development.