Adoption of Drought Tolerant Sorghum in Western Kenya
Ouma, Evans Ochieng
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Food and nutritional insecurity are responsible for poverty and low livelihoods of about 33% of people living in western part of Kenya. This is against MDG1. The production of sorghum which is a staple food crop is below 0.5 t/ha, against the potential of 3-4 t/ha. Drought is a major factor responsible for the low and declining yields of sorghum, especially in the smallholder farms where agricultural inputs including improved cultivars are not normally utilized. Drought tolerant sorghum variety has been developed and deployed to western Kenya and its uptake remains low. The study aimed at assessing factors influencing adoption of drought tolerant sorghum variety. The research was carried out in various sites in Nyanza and Western Provinces. Data was collected using structured questionnaires. Systematic random sampling was employed in selected sites to identify 100 small scale sorghum farmers. The results showed that about 88 percent of farmers used uncertified sorghum seed. About 41 percent of farmers were aware of drought tolerant sorghum. Despite the significant level of awareness, only 7 percent had adopted drought tolerant sorghum. The probit model identified age, gender, social capital, sorghum farm size, income, extension, and total land holding as significant factors affecting adoption of drought tolerant sorghum. It is recommended that technology disseminators in sorghum should target the older farmers; farmers to operate in groups to access technology, farmers to increase the land size allocated to sorghum, and extension agents should strengthen their role as the link between research and the farmer.
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