Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Technical Efficiency Among Smallholder Potato Farmers in Kenya

  • N. Wamuyu Wamuyu Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management, Egerton University
  • Hillary K. Bett Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management, Egerton University
  • Isaac M. Kariuki Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management, Egerton University
  • Julien Cadot Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAEC), Virginia Tech University Blacksburg,

Abstract

Potato (Solanum tuberosum), the second most important food crop in Kenya after maize, is a major source of carbohydrates and therefore of high nutritional value. However, its productivity is low, at an average of 9.8 metric tonnes per hectare (mt/ha), a value well below the potential of 40 mt/ha. This study sought to determine the factors that influence productivity among smallholder potato farmers in Kenya. The study was carried out in Taita-Taveta, Nyandarua, Nyeri and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties. A sample of 312 farmers were sampled through a multi-stage sampling technique. Researcher administered questionnaires were used to collect primary data. Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) was utilized in computing technical efficiency scores as well as determining the factors that influence productivity among smallholder potato farmers. It was found that sex, years of education, farm income, non-farm income, group membership, access to credit, number of extension contacts, receipt of technical training, years of farming experience and land size were important factors that influenced the level of technical efficiency among smallholder potato farmers in Kenya. The study recommends that farmers with inadequate skills and experience in potato farming should get county-government aided technical training and regular extension services. Farmers organizations should also be strengthened in order to serve as an important vehicle for credit, training, and extension service which are key ingredients for increased productivity

Published
2022-08-26
How to Cite
Wamuyu, N. W., Bett, H. K., Kariuki, I. M., & Cadot, J. (2022). Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Technical Efficiency Among Smallholder Potato Farmers in Kenya. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 86(1-2), 12. Retrieved from https://www.kalro.org/www.eaafj.or.ke/index.php/path/article/view/552