Determinants of Farmers’ Knowledge on Soil and Water Conservation Technologies in Dry Zones of Central Highlands, Kenya
AbstractAgricultural productivity has been on the decline globally and in sub-Saharan Africa. This is as a result of soil nutrient depletion and low soil water availability. To curb this problem various soil and water conservations have been recommended, but there is still low uptake among farmers. The farmer’s knowledge level influences uptake and eventual adoption of these technologies. Therefore, we carried a cross-sectional survey from 400 farming households to assess farmer’s knowledge levels on the selected ISFM and SWC technologies and to determine the household’s socio-economic determinants influencing farmers’ level of knowledge on soil and water conservation technologies in the dry ones of the Central Highlands of Kenya. Knowledge levels were assessed by asking farmers questions that demanded a true or false answer. Knowledge index was then calculated and data analyzed using multinomial logistic regression model. Results showed that majority of the farmers had inadequate and insufficient knowledge on the use and benefits of soil and water conservation technologies. The socio-economic factors that influence knowledge levels of the knowledge-intensive technologies were education level, gender, perceptions on soil fertility, farmer group membership, access to training, farm size, access to credit, livestock keeping, and access to farm equipment. This implies the need to come up with an all-inclusive policy that can be employed in improving farmer’s level of knowledge through the use of more innovative methods of information dissemination. This can be done by strengthening the existing farmer groups, enhancing extension services, and also formulating gender-friendly policies.
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