Influence of agricultural extension services on household food security in Nyamira district, Nyamira county, Kenya
Agricultural extension continues to be in transition worldwide. Governments and international agencies are advancing structural, financial and managerial reforms to improve extension services for purposes of increasing agricultural production for addressing food security. This study sought to investigate the influence of agricultural extension services on household food security in Nyamira District. It was informed by the objectives; influence of training farmers on modern farming methods, provision of farm inputs, preservation and storage and marketing strategies on household food security. The study was grounded on the basic assumptions that the sample selected would represent the target population in its major features, data collection instrument would be valid and reliable in measuring the desired outcome and that the respondents would give information honestly and objectively. Literature was reviewed against the backdrop of previous scholarly works in line with key study variables. Adopted as a theoretical framework was the social action model propounded by Sloccam in 1962, which explains how an innovation can be introduced successfully in a frozen community until adopted by several members of the society. On research methodology, descriptive survey research design was employed, in which a target population of 5420 was identified from where a sample size of 542 was selected through stratified random sampling procedures on the basis of the seven locations of Nyamira District. Data was collected with the help of questionnaire, comprising of open ended, closed and matrix questions. The instrument was pretested to ascertain its effectiveness in obtaining the necessary data for the study and validity of the data collection instruments was established through adequate coverage of research objectives, peer review and expert judgment. Reliability was measured using split half method, in which the two parts were found to be highly correlated. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages were used in data analysis and the resultant information presented in frequency distribution tables. The study findings revealed that agricultural extension services, packaged in training of farmers, provision of inputs, preservation and storage and marketing strategies had significant influence on household food security. The study recommended that policies be formulated by relevant stakeholders to strengthen extension services in order to boost food production so as to effectively address issues of food security in a sustainable manner. For further research, the study suggested replication elsewhere to compare the findings.