Influence of farmer’s characteristics, agricultural extension and technology specific factors on adoption of organic farming technologies in Embu west sub county, Embu, Kenya.
Farmers’ training is intended at promoting uptake of knowledge and skills, changing of attitudes and making farmers achieve their aspirations. When improved agricultural practices are systematically and effectively delivered, farmers’ training is known to enhance adoption of improved agricultural practices and finally improve the social and economic development of the farmer. This study was conducted to assess the influence of farmer’s social-economic characteristics, Agricultural extension and Technology specific factors on enhancing adoption of the improved organic farming technologies among trained farmers in Embu west sub-county, Embu County, Kenya. A descriptive sectional survey design was applied in the study and data was collected from Three hundred (300) trained organic farmers. The results of descriptive analysis showed that, awareness of the Organic Farming Technologies in Embu west Sub County was high among all the farmers across different socio-economic backgrounds. Among the socioeconomic characteristics of the farmers that were found to be influencing their adoption decision of the entire package were level of formal education, gender and off-farm income. Age of the farmer, farm size and contact with technology promoters did not affect their adoption decision. The technology-specific attributes that negatively influenced adoption of the entire package included cost involved, complexity of the technology and high perceived risks. Adopters of the entire package were motivated to do so by the benefits of high yields realized from adopting the entire package and the fact that they perceived that the cost of farming was low especially for farmers who had enough organic waste for composting and enough labour. Among the adopters of the entire package, about 60% reported that they have been harvesting an estimate of more harvest per acre per season as compared to seasons before adopting entire organic farming. Many non-adopters cited technology-specific attributes of costs, complexity and perceived risks as the major factors that hinder their efforts to adopt the entire package. Overall, the factors that influence adoption of the Organic Farming Technologies in Embu West Sub County seem to lie more on technology-specific attributes and economic constrains other than the social characteristics of the farmers. The findings of this research project provide useful information which can be used by Africa Children Education Fund to evaluate the impacts, effectiveness and sustainability of the farmers training project they sponsored. The study provide useful data and recommendations which can be used by future researchers and training institutions dealing with farmers training and extension.
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