Factors influencing the growth of small-scale dairy farming: a case of Githunguri constituency, Kiambu county, Kenya
This research sought to investigate factors influencing the growth of small scale dairy farming. The study was carried out in Githunguri Constituency of Kiambu County. Various factors in relation with dairy production in this study included access to credit, access to market, extension services and farmers entrepreneurial skills. This study therefore sought to provide answers to the myriad on farm productivity and management questions that have been rampant especially in central Kenya. The study was guided by 4 questions derived from the study objectives; How does access to credit influence the growth of small scale dairy farming, to what extent does access to market influence the growth of small scale dairy farming, how do extension services influence growth of small scale dairy farming and to what level does farmers’ entrepreneurial skill influence the growth of small scale dairy. Empirical literature of the works of widely published scholars was reviewed and clearly presented a research gap for this study. This study was anchored on Wilson’s theory. The relationship between study variables was believed to be somewhat influential on growth of small-scale dairy farming. The nexus of interrelationships between study variables has been demonstrated by a conceptual framework configured. The study adopted a descriptive survey design with a target population of 145 comprising of both dairy farmers and agricultural officers in Githunguri constituency. Using the Krejcie and Morgan table for determining sample size, 103 respondents sufficiently constituted the sample size for this study. To achieve a desired representation, both strata and simple random sampling methods were utilized. A questionnaire with both structured and unstructured questions was used. The questionnaire constructed was given to sampled dairy farmers found to be fairly literate. The questionnaire validity was determined using both content and construct validity while reliability of the same questionnaire was determined using the CronbachAlpha Coefficient. Pilot testing of the questionnaire was done 1 week prior to the main study. Data obtained was analyzed using SPSS Version 21.0. The specific influence of independent variables against the dependent variable was tested through correlation and regression analysis. It was hoped that this study would generate imperative information, add to the available pool of knowledge and inform government policy and other key stakeholders. On access to credits, the study found that small-scale dairy farmers rely a lot in access to financial services, in order to boost the operations in the farms for buying feeds, milking machines and to expand in other areas of dairy practice. On access to markets, the study established that access to markets through opening new markets for milk and milk products, existing markets that increase markets share, assuring farmers of markets to their products highly contribute and promote dairy farmers to largely concentrate and practice dairy farming. The study also found that access skills and knowledge gained from the extension services and entrepreneurial behavior leads to growth of small scale dairy farming in Githunguri. From the regression analysis the following regression equation was formulated; Y = 0.738+ 0. 65X1 + 0. 556X2 + 0.422X3 + 0.516X4. The regression analysis showed that access to credit contributes most to growth of small-scale dairy farming in Githunguri, followed by access to market, entrepreneurial skills and extension services.