Factors Influencing Fish Production Among Small Scale Farmers In Kenya: A Case Of Hamisi Sub-County.
Fish has always been an important source of protein in the human diet and on a global scale. This study therefore focuses on factors influencing fish production among small scale farmers of Hamisi sub – county, Vihiga County within Kenya. The study seeks to investigate how costs of production influence fish production among small scale farmers; examine the extent to which agricultural extension services influence fish production among small scale farmers; establish how demographic characteristics of farmers influence fish production among small scale farmers and finally to examine how accessibility to credit facilities influence fish production among small scale farmers in Hamisi sub- county of Vihiga county in Kenya. The study adopted the theory of allocative efficiency as postulated by Inoni (2007). The study location included Banja, Tambua, Gisambai and Shamakhokho wards whereby a descriptive survey design was used to obtain information to describe the existing phenomena. The target population was 200 involving individuals, private and public groups consisting of small scale farmer. The estimated sample size is 132 as obtained from Krejcie & Morgan (1970) table. The study employed stratified random sampling in order to include all the wards; proportional allocation was used to determine the number of farmers from each ward that was the respondent in the study. Systematic random sampling was used to select the actual respondents in the wards. Content validity was used where the researcher shared the research instrument with the supervisor to access its appropriateness in content. Split half method was employed to test the reliability of the instruments. Questionnaire with closed ended questions was be prepared and distributed to the respondents in all the four wards. The questionnaires were collected after one week. All the filled questionnaires were used for analysis. The data collected was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS ver. 20) where descriptive analysis was obtained that included frequency tables and percentages that were used for data presentation, contingency tables with Pearson chi-square tests that provided a measure of association were employed for testing significance of individual factors within the objectives to identify their significance in influencing fish production among small scale farmers in Hamisi Sub-county of Vihiga County in Kenya. The study established that educational levels greatly influenced adoption of new fish farming techniques, extension officers provided assistance to farmers when need arose, credit accessibility as a factor greatly influenced the study with costs also coming to the fore in level of influence, further the study found out that majority among respondents with O-level education participated in fish farming either by providing labor or in other ways owning the pond, majority also sourced for unpaid labor. Farmers cried foul of the government‘s responsibility in ensuring proper subsidies in fish farming are found and policies were seen to neglect small and medium scale farmers and the study recommended community involvement be embraced before a project is launched of such nature where proper monitoring and evaluation training seminars should be tailored to match such needs as pertains feasibility studies, credit facilities targeting small scale fish farmers be identified and re-drawn to suit their needs with a further recommendation for county and national governments intervening in provision of market and subsidized feeds and fingerlings in proportionate quantities whereas the study suggested a study to be carried out on constraints in funds accessibility by small scale farmers and their effect on sustainability of such projects.
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