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Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences (2012)

The adoption of mushroom farming among smallholder farmers : a case of women mushroom farmers in Makuyu, Kenya

Kimole Stephen

Titre : The adoption of mushroom farming among smallholder farmers : a case of women mushroom farmers in Makuyu, Kenya

Auteur : Kimole Stephen

Université de soutenance : Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences

Grade : Master of Development, Specialization : Rural Development and Food Security 2012

Résumé partiel
This research is about the adoption of mushroom farming by smallholder farmers in Kenya as recommended by Kenya Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF). KIOF is a NonGovernmental Organisation (NGO) established in 1986 to promote organic agriculture as a sustainable farming method. Among the innovations promoted by KIOF is Mushroom farming. In 2008 KIOF trained a total of 210 women in groups of thirty from Makuyu division but results from a survey carried out by KIOF in 2010 showed that only 30% of the trained women had ever started mushroom farming and only 20% were still farming mushroom. KIOF is not quite sure of the reasons for the low adoption rate in Makuyu division. The objective of this research was to find out the reasons why mushroom farming was poorly adopted by the targeted farmers. To accomplish the objective of the research the following research questions were formulated : What is the farmers’ knowledge on mushroom farming ? What is the willingness of farmers to do mushroom farming ? To answer these questions three focus groups and three interviews were undertaken. The focus groups consisted of two non-adopting groups with 10 members each and one adopting group with 6 members. The interviews were held with two leaders one from each of non-adopting groups and the third one with the Division Extension Officer DEO). The respective group leaders were expected to present views from an informed angle and broader view since they had been interacting with all group members and they could understand the prevailing circumstances facing each of the members. The extension officer was expected to present views from a technical point of view and experiences from working in the division as a whole. The outcomes of the focus groups and interviews yielded the following results : The most frequently mentioned reasons for non-adoption included inadequate knowledge on the mushroom farming procedures, limited understanding on the benefits of mushroom farming, delay in mushroom seeds, lack of capital, lack of market and high labour requirement. The adopting group seemed to better understand the benefits associated with mushroom farming, were more innovative in sourcing of inputs and the group was more organised to source for inputs, market access and learning from each other

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