An analysis of the socio-economic factors that influence chemical fertilizer use among smallholder maize producers in Western Kenya - Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) CIMMYT : 1997 - Printed
A major objective of the National Food Policy for the Government of Kenya is the attainment of household and national food security. Fertilizer is an important input necessary to achieve this objective. However, a wide range of socio-economic factors affect its use. This study was formulated to identify and document the major determinants of fertilizer use in Kisii, Kakamega and Trans Nzoia districts in Western Kenya. The study collected data on fertilizer use from a random sample of 120 farmers using a structured questionnaire over the 1995 major maize growing season. The study found that the amount of fertilizer used varies in the regions. The lowest amounts were for Kisii. These averaged 12.5 kg N/ha and 19.3 kg/ha P2O,. The average usage in Kakamega was 31.7 kg/N and 22.3 kg/ha P2O5 where Striga infestation is a problem while the highest usage was 47.0 kg/ha N and 45.5 kg P205/ha in Trans Nzoia. Our analysis indicated that the factors which determine fertilizer use include the normalized price of fertilizer, farm size, extension, liquidity position of farmers and off-farm employment. Despite the differences in fertilizer use, most farmers (58.7%) in these regions have maintained the levels of fertilizer use over the last five years. We recommend the government improve institutional access (credit and extension) to farmers. It is further recommended that Striga should be controlled before any attempt is made to encourage farmers to use fertilizers.
633.15 / EAS No. 5