Determinants of mushroom projects production in Emuhaya sub-county, Vihiga county, Kenya
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This project report discusses determinants of mushroom farming project production in Emuhaya sub-county. The report addresses reasons why mushroom production has been declining in the recent past. The objectives of the study were; to determine the extend to which technical support, availability of capital, variety of spawn, level of training of farmers and profit margin determine production of mushrooms farming projects in Emuhaya Sub-County. The researcher did literature review to try and establish results of past studies on mushroom farming in different parts of the world. A descriptive survey research design was used. The study used a simple random sampling with replacement technique to choose a sample of study. Sample size was determined using Mugenda and Mugenda formula. The target population was 202,200 mushroom farmers and two agricultural officers in-charge of mushroom growing. Sample size was 162:160 farmers and 2 agricultural officers. The study used questionnaires as research instrument. Content validity of the instrument was addressed through use of triangulation split halves and the researcher also specified the full domain of content that was relevant; after which he presented the items in a form that was administered to the sample population. Testretest reliability method was used to determine the reliability of the research instrument. Results were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficient and the result was 0.7. The researcher analyzed data using frequency and percentages and also employed Spss (xp) professional for further statistical analysis and to find correlations between the variables and production. The findings of the study were that technical support, availability of capital, level of training and level of profit-margin on mushroom farming are crucial factors to take care before commencement of the project. The study found out that majority of farmers were not accessible to technical support that they should get from agricultural officers since they had limited interaction with them. Thus lack of information and tools affected production. Start-up capital for the projects was too lime and difficult to access. The study also revealed that variety of spawn least contributed to the project production as only one variety was grown. A small percentage of farmers were trained in growing mushrooms and these are the farmers whose output increased. Majority of farmers had limited skills in growing mushrooms, this led to decline in output thus training of farmers was key to enhanced production of mushrooms. Amount of profit earned by farmers also determined stay in the business, based on this many farmers withdrew growing mushrooms as profits were low. Based on the research findings; technical support, availability of adequate capital, level of training and profit-margin were highly correlated with production. The study therefore recommended that technical support be availed on sustained basis for enhanced production and cheaper credit schemes be availed to farmers by the county government to support the farmers. Training farmers for this project is imperative. Expansion of markets be done to increase sales so as to raise farmers profit-margin.