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Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences (2011)

Maize production and its implication on food security for small scale farmers in Bukhayo West-Busia Kenya

Munanie Kilonzi Sheila

Titre : Maize production and its implication on food security for small scale farmers in Bukhayo West-Busia Kenya

Auteur : Munanie Kilonzi Sheila

Université de soutenance : Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences

Grade : Master of Management of Development Specialisation : Rural Development & Food Security 2011

Résumé
Agriculture is the mainstay of Kenya’s economy accounting for approximately 25 percent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is the main source of livelihoods for about 85 percent of the population in rural areas. Maize is one of the commodities that form the core of Kenya’s food and agricultural policy. The food security in the country is generally equated with availability of and access to adequate supplies of maize. However, the country normally experiences deficit which is filled by informal cross-border trade from Uganda and Tanzania. In western Kenya, maize is an important crop grown by almost all households. The crop therefore plays a significant role in food security status of the farming households of Busia in western Kenya. The importance of maize crop and the decline in its production has therefore motivated small scale farmers of Bukhayo west in Busia to form a farmer organisation known as Agro-Biodiversity Association (ABA).The organisation which is a registered Community Based Organisation (CBO) aims to improve food security status of the small scale farmers of Bukhayo through engaging various stakeholders. In order to achieve its goals, the CBO commissioned a local non-governmental organisation, Regional Institute for Social Enterprise (RISE) to carry out a research in order to document the factors that affect maize production in Bukhayo west, Busia. The objective of the study was to assess the contribution of maize crop production in food security for the small scale farmers of Bukhayo west so as to identify interventions for improvement for food security. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative approach. Desk study was carried out to help in developing the tools used in the research. A survey was carried out with thirty randomly selected small scale farmers forming the respondents. Semistructured questionnaires were administered to the respondents. Interviews with selected key informants were conducted as well as group discussions and observations. Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The study revealed that majority of the farming households cultivates maize as the main crop for subsistence and cash. Other crops of importance in the area include cassava, beans millet and sorghum. The small scale farmers practice intercropping system with legumes such as beans and groundnuts being the main intercrops for maize and or cassava. The yields of maize were found to be as low as less than a ton per hectare. This is caused by various socio-economic, technical and natural factors. Majority of the farming households use local rather than hybrid varieties of maize and end up with low yields.

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