Influence of credit farm input on improvement of small scale farmer output in Bungoma county Kenya
Credit farm input has been provided by several firms to support small scale farmers by giving them subsidies which reduce their cost of production and in turn increase their farm yields. Most small scale farmers aren’t able to access inputs which affects farm productivity because farmers facing binding capital constraints use lower levels of inputs in their production activities. The study was aimed to examine the influence of credit farm inputs on improvement of small scale farmers’ output in Bungoma County. The objectives of the study were to determine the extent to which provision of seeds on credit influence improvement of small scale farmers’ output in Bungoma county, to determine how provision of fertilizer on credit influence improvement of small scale farmers’ output in Bungoma County, to investigate how provision of Agro-chemicals on credit influences improvement of farmers’ output in Bungoma County and lastly the study examined how provision of training to farmers on utilization of new farming methods by credit providers influence improvement of small scale farmers’ output in Bungoma County. The target population for this study was 2,505 individuals consisting of 2,500 small scale farmers in Bungoma County and 5 senior staff from farm input credit firms. The study used descriptive research design, questionnaires were used to collect data which adopted both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Systematic sampling procedure was used to gather data from 100 small scale maize and beans farmers in Bungoma south. Purposive sampling was used to select 5 senior staff from input credit firms to be interviewed. Data was analyzed using SPSS, descriptive and inferential statistics which included correlation. It was found that majority of small scale farmers, (62.33) % owned small sizes of land between 0.5 and 1 acre and produced maximum, those that had larger land sizes did not use the optimal recommended level of inputs since they couldn’t access enough inputs and this influenced their yields negatively. It was concluded that the use of seed and fertilizer coupled with provision of training gave moderate production of between 12-19 bags of maize of 90 kg, per acre. Majority of the respondents (62.00) % received agro-chemicals used for storage purposes only, therefore the study shows that agro-chemical provision on credit did not have an influence on farmer output. Recommendations for further research were first, factors that influence small scale farmer productivity apart from farm input credit and factors influencing accessibility of farm input credit by small scale farmers.