Effects of patterns of adoption of dairy farming technologies among small-scale farmers in Githunguri division, Kiambu county
The adoption of dairy farming technologies has contributed immensely to increased milk production, and can help to alleviate poverty and hunger, reduce the threat of diseases and ensure environmental sustainability in developing countries. Adoption of dairy technologies among small holder farmers is driven by the objective of the increased milk production for both home consumption and commercial purposes. However, farmers face serious constraints in nutrition, diseases control, cattle upgrading, general management and change in government policy. The specific objectives of this study were to find out smallholders receptability of adopting the new technologies; types, nature and patterns of adopting technologies; benefits accruing from adoption of technologies and factors that inform adoption or non-adoption of dairy farming technologies. This study focused on three technologies farmers have adopted in dairy farming to increase productivity, namely: genetic improvement, feed management technologies and animal health care. The study was carried in Githunguri Division of Kiambu County, where sample size of 98 was selected. The study findings show that a majority of the respondents keep Friesian breed of cattle as it produces the higher quantities of milk compared to the other breeds and therefore useful for commercial purposes and home consumption. On the feeding management, famers feed their cattle on fodder and supplement with feed concentrates to exploit the full potential of dairy breeds’ capacity to produce more milk. Therefore technologies that enhance productivities are adopted to improve performance. The major challenge the farmers face in dairy farming is the high cost of the feed as fodder grown is inadequate. The study found that majority of farmers seek animal health care providers from qualified animal health providers. Scarcity of land was found a major challenge to milk production. The study recommends that farmers should be trained by Extension Agents on intensive farming technology to make use of limited land to produce more yields. There is need for the government to provide legal and policy frameworks that identify improvement of animal feed, animal health services and feed management of important activities in the dairy industries.