Communication and Uptake of Integrated Soil Fertility Management and Soil Water Conservation Technologies by Farmers in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya

Abstract

Integrated soil fertility management and soil water conservation practices are possible solutions to persistent soil quality decline and low availability of soil moisture which are affecting agricultural productivity in the dry lands of Tharaka-Nithi County. Nonetheless, the rate of uptake of these technologies and practices by smallholder farmers has stagnated over the years despite recommendations for their use. Lack of effective communication between the extension agents and research institutions and the smallholder farmers could be among the reasons for low uptake. This study therefore aimed to evaluate the influence of communication on uptake of integrated soil fertility management and soil water conservation technologies by farmers in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey design and used an interview schedule for data collection from 400 randomly selected farming households. The study targeted smallholder farmers in Tharaka South sub-county. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences. In assessing farmer’s perceptions on effectiveness, a ten-point scoring scale was used to score farmer's perceptions on the effectiveness of the selected pathways. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and means were used to summarize data. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was then used to analyze data where Tukey’s honest significant difference test was used for means separation. To assess the farmers’ knowledge level, 24 questions were asked requiring an answer of either true or false. Respondents scored (1) for every correct answer and (0) for every wrong answer. Knowledge index was calculated then respondents were classified into three categories. With knowledge levels having more than two levels, multinomial logistic regression was used to analyze the data. Binary logistic regression was employed to assess the influence of information packaging and communication factors on the uptake of the selected technologies. Results showed that other farmers and radio were the most available, accessible, reliable and informative communication pathways thus could be effective in disseminating information in the dry lands of Tharaka-Nithi County. Group membership, training, access to credit and farm equipment were important variables that informed farmer’s level of knowledge. In addition, Practical orientations, mode of message display, accessibility of extension agents after the introducing the technology and information repetition were among the factors that influenced the adoption of combined organic and inorganic fertilizers, mulching and Zai pits. Training was essential for mulch and Zai pit technologies, while farmer group membership was necessary for combined organic and inorganic and Zai pit technologies. Continued use of audio-visual materials was recommended, also, extension agents and other stakeholders should consider the use of demonstrations and a simple and clear message to increase adoption of integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) and soil water conservation (SWC) technologies by farmers. Policies and interventions should target technology-specific social economic and institutional determinants to improve knowledge levels of the selected ISFM and SWC technologies.
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APA

Wairimu</div>, < (2024). Communication and Uptake of Integrated Soil Fertility Management and Soil Water Conservation Technologies by Farmers in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/communication-and-uptake-of-integrated-soil-fertility-management-and-soil-water-conservation-technologies-by-farmers-in-tharaka-nithi-county-kenya

MLA 8th

Wairimu</div>, <div>Njenga "Communication and Uptake of Integrated Soil Fertility Management and Soil Water Conservation Technologies by Farmers in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya" Afribary. Afribary, 04 Jun. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/communication-and-uptake-of-integrated-soil-fertility-management-and-soil-water-conservation-technologies-by-farmers-in-tharaka-nithi-county-kenya. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

MLA7

Wairimu</div>, <div>Njenga . "Communication and Uptake of Integrated Soil Fertility Management and Soil Water Conservation Technologies by Farmers in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya". Afribary, Afribary, 04 Jun. 2024. Web. 15 Jun. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/communication-and-uptake-of-integrated-soil-fertility-management-and-soil-water-conservation-technologies-by-farmers-in-tharaka-nithi-county-kenya >.

Chicago

Wairimu</div>, <div>Njenga . "Communication and Uptake of Integrated Soil Fertility Management and Soil Water Conservation Technologies by Farmers in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya" Afribary (2024). Accessed June 15, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/communication-and-uptake-of-integrated-soil-fertility-management-and-soil-water-conservation-technologies-by-farmers-in-tharaka-nithi-county-kenya