Small Scale Maize Farmers Attitude towards Opinion Leaders in the Western Region of Kenya in the Agricultural Reform Era
Adijah Mukabana Olubandwahttps://doi.org/10.47191/jefms/v4-i6-15
Agricultural reforms in Kenya led to the government cutting down incentives to small scale farmers. These also coincided with reduction of agricultural extension staff hence farmers have to rely on advice from opinion leaders. The study looked at farmers’ attitude towards opinion leaders on maize farming in the western region of Kenya because maize is the main staple for most of the Kenyan population and Western Region is the food basket. The study used Ex-post facto research design via cross sectional survey. The counties were purposively selected to represent the Western Region of Kenya. Two sub-counties from each of the four Counties were selected by simple random sampling. Small scale farmers were selected from focal areas through systematic random sampling. Four key informants were sampled purposefully based on their positions of authority. In addition, 52 extension staffs were sampled through systematic random sampling. The small scale farmers were interviewed with the help of interview schedule containing both open and closed ended questions. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study revealed that a high percentage of respondents from all the study Counties agreed that what other farmers said about maize production helped them to invest in the enterprise. The study concluded that small scale farmers from all the Counties, were influenced by other farmers to invest in maize production. In addition most of the respondents always followed the recommendations given by the chief and other local leaders concerning agricultural production. The study recommended that extension staff use farmer groups and local leaders to ensure that the innovations are diffused to a large number of farmers.
Small scale farmers; attitude; maize farming; agricultural reform, opinion leaders
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