Determinants of Commercial Mixed Farming on Small Farms in Kenya
Litondo, Kate O
Ntale, Joseph F
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Agriculture is a topic of concern for rural development programs in Kenya because of the high poverty incidents among farmers. Fundamentally, smallholder agriculture contributes substantially to total agricultural production and total employment. Despite the fact that Kenyan farmers largely practice mixed farming, some are unable to act commercially and consequently, unable to improve their livelihoods. This paper therefore aims at establishing the entrepreneurial indicators of farming activities that lead to improved rural livelihoods. Cross-sectional survey of 388 small farms in Thika was carried out to investigate the determinants of commercial mixed farming. Linear probability model, logit and probit models were used to estimate the determinants of commercial mixed farming. The results show that the size of the farm, gender of the farmer, availability of electricity supply and running water on the farm are the main determinants of mixed farming. This study suggests that policies be put in place to discourage partitioning of farm land into uneconomical sizes. It also recommend that rural electrification and training programs on best farming practices be intensified in the rural areas to enable farmers to act commercially.