Factors Influencing Sustainability of Rural Community Based Projects; a Case of Jatropha Curcus Growing Project in Garsen Constituency – Tana Delta County
A large number of jatropha (Jatropha curcus L.) projects have been implemented in various countries to develop a viable bioenergy cropping system, based on the understanding that the tropical woody perennial tree or shrub species may survive in harsh climate and soil conditions (Attaya et al. 2012). The Jatropha plant was named in 1753 by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors influencing the sustainability of rural community based projects; a case of Jatropha curcus growing project in Garsen constituency, Tana Delta County. The study was guided by four objectives that sought to determine the extent to which financial resources influence the sustainability of jatropha curcus growing project in Garsen constituency, examine the extent to which socio-cultural factors influence the sustainability of jatropha curcus growing project in Garsen constituency, examine the extent to which the market influences the sustainability of jatropha curcus growing project in Garsen constituency, and establish the extent to which technology influences the sustainability of jatropha curcus growing project in Garsen constituency, Tana Delta County. The objectives also form the themes in literature review. A descriptive research design was adopted for the study. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected from 97 respodents and analysed. The target population was about 3,200 but a population sample of 97 was used as calculated by the Yamane formula. A pilot study was conducted to check the instruments reliability and validity. Structured questionnaires were used to collect the data, which was administered via e-mails, enumerators and personally picked them after they had been filled. Data was coded and analyzed using the SPSS version 20.0. The data was analyzed and variables correlated to check the relationship of data. Chi-square method was used to test the hypothesis. The study revealed that for sustainability of Jatropha projects in Tana Delta, financial resources are central in the acquisition of quality farm imputs, labour, relevant market identification and many more. In relation to socio-cultural factors the study revealed that without the community giving their land for plantation as opposed to grazing, the Jatropha plant will miss a place to grow. The levels of poverty have also forced the local community to start participating in subsistence farming thus affecting the small scale production of jatropha. The study also revealed that technology is significant in areas not limited to quality seeds acquisition, pests and disease control, irrigation, cultivation, harvesting, processing and marketing. For the survival and continued operations, beside the future success of the Jatropha fuel projects in Kenya, the study recommends that the NGOs, CBOs, Ministry of energy and County government of Tana River must avail sufficient funds to both the farmers and the expertise for the acquisition of quality seeds, technology, land scape, market expansion and many more. Modern technology should be subsided and availed for both projects running and jatropha production. The Ministry of energy should also come up with strategies that should popularize the products of jatropha just like Tanzania has done.
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