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Wageningen University (2013)

Factors for low sorghum production : a case study of small-scale farmers in East Kano sub location, Nyando District, Kenya

Omoro, W.

Titre : Factors for low sorghum production : a case study of small-scale farmers in East Kano sub location, Nyando District, Kenya

Auteur : Omoro, W.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2013

Résumé
This research is about an investigation into the factors for low sorghum production in East Kano location, Nyando district, Kenya. The small scale farmers in East Kano have been cultivating sorghum over the years for household food consumption. The production of the crop has had lower yields in the recent years within the study area. Sorghum is known as a food security crop and its ability to withstand dry weather conditions. The objective of this study was to get information about the factors for low sorghum production and give recommendations to KARI in order for the organization to start sorghum projects with these farmers to ensure increased production. To answer this, the following research question and sub-questions were formulated : What are the factors for low sorghum production in East Kano sub location, Nyando district ? What size of land does the household own ? What is the yields/unit area of sorghum ? What are the uses of sorghum at household level ? What challenges do small scale farmers in sorghum farming face ? What influences the choice of crop planted ? What is the commercial importance of sorghum at household level ? What are the services offered by the government to sorghum farmers ? What other crops do the small scale farmer produce ? To answer these questions, individual interviews with the small scale farmers, key informants and focus group discussions were carried out. 30 small scale farmers, 4 key informants and 2 focus group discussions (5 women and 5 women per discussion) were involved in the research. These selected respondents were actively involved in sorghum farming in the study area. The results of the individual interviews and the focus group discussions yielded the following outcome : First, farmers lack the financial resources to invest in farming of sorghum. Inputs such as seeds, bullocks and plough and even the money to hire people to work on the farm. The study found out that most of the farmers rely on family labour and this has been reduced as many families now opt to take their children to schools and colleges. Most farmers have less or no education background and training in farming. This has made majority to rely on their local farming practices which does not yield much compared to the modern technologies (use of tractors, sorghum hybrid seeds, fertilizers and other moden practices. The study also found out that for these farmers land is still not a problem. Most of the farmers have bigger pieces of fallow land that can be used to increase sorghum production. Land ownership is widely by men, and this also allows the men to determine what crop is being planted by the household.

Mots clés : sorghum / production / food security / sustainability / household income / kenya

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