Characterization of Fodder Conservation Technologies among farmers in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya

  • T. Kogo Department of Agricultural Resource Management, University of Embu
  • R. Yegon Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
  • S.A. Migose Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

Abstract

Dairy production contributes about 70% of rural livelihood in Kenya. However, the productivity is low mainly due to scarcity of fodder, which fluctuates with seasons.
The adoption of fodder conservation technologies is low, which can be attributed to limited information. Therefore, the study objective in the current was to assess the adoption of fodder conservation technologies among farmers in Tharaka Nithi County. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 242 dairy farms and four commercial
farms that produce and conserve fodder. The information on household demographics, socioeconomic, and dairy farming characteristics, including fodder conservation technologies was gathered using a semi-structured questionnaire. The data was fitted in a multiple regression equation to identify determinants of the adoption of fodder conservation technologies. Most (60%) of the respondents were over 50 years of age, and a greater percentage were males (62%). Household land sizes were small (1 ha), and the most preferred dairy production system was zero-grazing (98%). The herd sizes were small (2 TLUs), while the reported daily milk yield was low (9 kg/cow). The dominant fodder was Napier grass (97%) and fodder maize (48%). Most farms (64%) experienced fodder scarcity during the dry season. Fodder was conserved mainly as stored crop residues (80%), and it was the most adopted technology (85%). Silage making was the least adopted technology (26%). The quantities of fodder conserved were affected by farmer age, land size, membership in a cooperative dairy group, and the period to use conserved fodder. Low adoption of fodder conservation was attributed to small land sizes, lack of technological know-how on silage making, and inadequate access to hay and silage baling machineries. More efforts are required to enhance the expertise and adoption of fodder conservation technologies in the smallholder dairy production systems.

Published
2022-08-25
How to Cite
Kogo, T., Yegon, R., & Migose, S. (2022). Characterization of Fodder Conservation Technologies among farmers in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 86(1-2), 13. Retrieved from https://www.kalro.org/www.eaafj.or.ke/index.php/path/article/view/539