AN ANALYSIS OF THE DETERMINANTS OF DIFFUSION OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION PRACTICES IN A MAIZE-LEGUME SYSTEM IN KENYA

ABSTRACT
The adoption and diffusion of sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI) practices remain a major concern in the development-policy agenda for Sub-Saharan Africa. This will solve the problem of land degradation, low agricultural productivity and poverty. Despite the benefits such as increase in yields and improved soil fertility that SAI offer, it is unclear why smallholder farmers report low adoption levels. Further, gender roles in decision making on farm productivity remain largely and empirically unexploited. To increase agricultural production in the agricultural sector, there is need to use appropriate combination of SAI practices. This study analyzed if SAIs uptake is linear or nonlinear and the impact of SAIs on income and labor demand among genders. Data from a sample of 535 households from five counties in Eastern and Western Kenya under Adoption Pathways project were analyzed using Multinomial Endogenous Switching Regression (MESR), Ordered Probit (OP) and a Stochastic Production function. The OP results showed that the number of technologies adopted is significantly influenced by labor use intensity, family income, plot tenure, land size and contact frequency with extension service providers significantly determined adoption. The MESR results indicated that women are more involved in majority of farm operations compared to men who mostly access extension service. Extension message is likely to have more effect if those involved in farm operations are reached, and the use of SAI practices as a package earns farmers more income than in isolation. The stochastic production function results showed that the level of fertilizer and improved variety use were positively correlated with yield across the cropping type. Further, access to credit positively affected the farmers’ choice of cropping systems, the elderly farmers practiced more intercropping, low soil fertility significantly reduced the growing of pure maize stand and limited incomes favored more intercropping. These results can help in packaging SAI practices for enhanced uptake by smallholder farmers especially in the presence of declining soil fertility and high commercial input costs. Furthermore, the results suggest that a better understanding of the determinants of cropping choices for smallholder farmers can be beneficial for better targeting of SAIs for adoption and subsequently improving crop productivity with less use of commercial inputs. 

CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 
Background information
In Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) maize is an important food crop. It accounts for 30% of the total area under cereal production in this region (Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2010). Despite its role as a key crop for food security and economic growth its yields have remained low (Shiferaw et al., 2011). Maize is predominantly grown in smallholder farming systems under rain fed conditions with limited fertilizer use, in areas with low soil fertility, inadequate rainfall, weeds, pests and inappropriate seed varieties may explain the trend of low yields. Studies have also shown that maize yield has increased in over 70% of the growing areas. However, there are worrying trends of stagnation for many years (Ray et al., 2012). Alongside this deliberate efforts have been made to boost productivity and enhance the incomes of the small holder farmers. Such include development of high yielding varieties, farming systems and sustainable agricultural intensification such as crop rotation, intercropping and use of organic fertilizers. 

A study by Kristjanson et al. (2012) ascertained that most households adapt to changing circumstance and their changes tend to be minimal rather than transformational in nature, with relatively little uptake of existing innovations. Moreover, many studies have advocated consistently for approaching agriculture and food security investment from gender perspective Gender inequalities and lack of attention to gender in agricultural development contribute to lower productivity and higher levels of poverty as well as under-nutrition (FAO, 2011). As a result, there is increasing concern about the implementation and continual use of innovations by the smallholder farmer. 

There is a growing body of literature on gender differences in uptake of technologies and agricultural productivity, most of which is partial in terms of methodological treatment and geographical coverage while focusing primarily on fertilizers and improved seeds (Quisumbing, 1996; Peterman et al., 2011). This indicates that it may be inappropriate to generally use gender as a determinant of technology uptake and agricultural productivity where MHHs and FHHs are used as a proxy for gender. 

Maize is a dominant food crop in Kenya; its production and yield per unit area is influenced by many different factors including total planted area and inputs used in production. Producing higher maize yields on existing cultivated land is the surest way of generating the extra grain required to feed the nation. The formulation of a strategy to pursue sustainable maize production in Kenya is necessary mainly because of the scarcity of good agricultural land and rapid population growth (Wokabi, 2000). Hence increase in maize productivity presents an excellent opportunity to increase rural household incomes, strengthen rural economies and improve nutritional value. 

Recent studies show that yields have stagnated at below 2 tons, while area per hectare has remained at about 1.5 million hectares (De Groote et al., 2011). With limited arable land area and resource constrain, Kenya will have to rely relatively more on yield improvement than area expansion for future increases in maize production. One way to increase yield in agricultural production is by using sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI) practices in combination. The SAI practices considered in this study include: improved varieties, pesticide, herbicide, fertilizer, maize legume intercropping, maize legume rotations, conservation agriculture practices, organic manure, and use of different types of modern inputs. The SAI practices are important because they aid in producing more output from the same piece of land while reducing the negative environmental impacts. 

This study is part of a broader development project on adoption pathways in Eastern and Southern Africa funded by AIFSC. The general objective of the project is to address the knowledge gap which leads to decisions made based on imperfect information due to limited in depth understanding of the economics of farming decisions under uncertainty, technology scaling out interventions and policy decisions. The project aims to draw on and expand existing data sets assembled through SIMLESA to initiate panel data sets in sentinel villages which represent maize legume based farming systems in East and Southern Africa including Kenya. In Kenya the study was carried out in five counties namely: Bungoma and Siaya in Western region and Embu, Meru and Tharaka-Nithi in the Eastern region. 

The statement of the research problem 
There has been tremendous breakthrough in innovations and dissemination targeting enhanced production of maize among smallholder farmers. This has been through development of high yielding varieties, farming systems and sustainable agricultural intensification practices such as crop rotation, intercropping and use of organic fertilizers. Despite the benefits such as increase in yields and improved soil fertility that sustainable agricultural intensification practices offer, it is unclear why smallholder farmers report low adoption levels, and climate variability continue to affect farm productivity. Further, gender roles in decision making on farm productivity remain largely empirically unexploited. This study therefore addressed this knowledge gaps by econometrically analyzing constraints that smallholder farmers face in uptake of sustainable agricultural intensification practices as a package. 

The study objectives 
The general objective of the study is to better understand how socio-economic factors including gender and changes in farming systems as well as external factors like climate variability and policies shape innovation processes, productivity and risks faced by smallholder farmers. The specific objectives were: 

1. To determine whether technology adoption decision is linear or nonlinear in process and the impact of farmers' choice of technology combination on income and labor use. 
2. To evaluate the determinants of the number of SAI technologies used. 
3. To determine the relationship between cropping choices and technology uptake. 

Hypotheses 
The following hypotheses were postulated to guide the study: 
1. The application of SAI practices is non-linear and a farmer’s choice of SAI practices has no significant impact on income and labor use. 
2. There are no significant differences in the determinants of use of one or more SAI technologies. 
3. There is no significant causal relationship between cropping choices and technology uptake. 
Justification 

Maize is a vital crop for food security and economic growth in Eastern and Southern Africa. In Kenya it is the main staple food. Except in South Africa, maize is the largest and widely cultivated cereal in the region (Shiferaw et al., 2011). In Sub Saharan Africa, the role of women is downplayed in embracing technology to the extent of only using gender as a proxy for male and female. Similarly decision making process may not be necessarily dual in structure either male or female making decision, but rather there is a third dimension the idea that male and female make decisions jointly which is empirically and extensively unexploited. The World Development report on gender equality and development warns that the failure to recognize the roles, differences and inequities between men and women poses a serious threat to the effectiveness of agricultural development (World Bank, 2012). Therefore, a better understanding of innovation constraints according to gender will improve policy makers’ knowledge on gender relevant and responsive technologies which contribute towards empowering women and more equitable development strategies. This will go a long way in addressing the third Millennium Development Goal on reduction of gender inequality and empowering women. Investigating the drivers and constraints to efficient production with focus on role of gender in innovative practices can check the food insecurity and underdevelopment problems. 

Scope and limitation 
This study only focused on selected smallholder maize legume farmers in Eastern and Western Kenya. There are other aspects entailed in the integrated agro enterprise approach such as value addition, marketing and business organization which are beyond the scope of this study. Therefore, it only laid emphasis on maize legume production and use of multiple technologies. This is because most small scale farmers in Kenya practice maize legume intercrop as staple food on their plots. For instance, Shiferaw et al. (2011), note that nearly 50% of the cultivated area of major staple crops is devoted to maize. 

Definition of terms 
Smallholder - This study considered small-holder farmers as those having 5 ha of land and below. 
Sustainable Agricultural Intensification – This means the process of producing more output from the same piece of land while reducing the negative environmental impacts and at the same time increasing contributions to the natural capital and the flow of environmental services (Godfray et al., 2010). 

Poverty – This is a situation where farmers live below a dollar per day and inability to meet daily basic needs (definition by United Nations (UN)). 

Food security - It is defined as the “state when all people at all times have both physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet their dietary needs for a productive and healthy life’’ (USAID, 1995). 

Household – Is an independent male or female producer and his/her dependents with whom must have lived together for a period of not less than six months (Ellis, 1988). The members are answerable to one person who makes most decision and share the same eating arrangement. 

Gender - The socially constructed roles, behavior, activities and attributes that a particular society considers appropriate for men and women (WHO, 2013). 

Innovation - An idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption (Rogers, 1983). 

Cropping system- The order in which crops are cultivated on a piece of land over fixed period. 

Cropping choice - The choices and sequence of rotating crops. 

Outline of the thesis 
This thesis is organized in eight chapters. Chapter one provides the background of the research problem. Chapter two presents the literature review, the conceptual and theoretical frameworks. In chapter three the study area, sampling procedure and data collection approaches and a description of variables used in various models in this study, are presented and discussed. In chapter four, descriptive statistics from the survey are presented and succinctly discussed. In chapter five, the impact of adopting SAI practices as a package on income and labor use is analyzed using endogenous switching regression model and the results presented and discussed. In chapter six, an ordered probit model is applied to analyze and determine factors that influence the number of SAI technologies used by farmers, and the results presented and discussed. Chapter seven addresses the relationship between cropping choices and technology uptake using a stochastic production function, with the results presented and discussed. Summary, conclusions and implications are presented in chapter eight.

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Item Type: Kenyan Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 96 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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