Factors Affecting the Profitability of Groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea) Production Among Smallholder Farmers in Homa-Bay County
Kenya's agricultural sector is the country's economic backbone and the main source of income for rural residents. The sector produces 26% of Kenya's GDP, employs 75% of the population, and feeds the rising population. Homa-Bay County is poor, food insecure, and low-income. The purpose for this study was to determine the factors affecting the profitability of groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea) production among smallholder farmers in Homa-Bay County. The study was carried out in Homa-Bay County with the target population of 500 smallholders’ farmers. Stratified random was used to select 222 from the target population in each Sub-County that would be the respondents in the study using Cochran 1963 formula at 5 percent level significance. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, multiple regression analysis and gross margin analysis. The results showed that fertilizer remains the expensive input in groundnut production followed by land preparation. The result also revealed that most farmers do not attend field days and only a negligible percentage has access to credit. Majority of the respondents (72 %) were relatively young and fell within the active age (20-45). Male respondents marginally dominated groundnut farming at 56.88 % and lastly 63.3 % of respondents were educated. The result further revealed that net farm income per hectare was Ksh 44,152 for groundnut. Family size and level of formal education, land size and access to loans were all statistically significant. The major constraints limiting groundnut production were identified as inadequate capital of 32.57 %, high cost of labour of 24.31 %, poor storage facilities of 16.51 %. Homa-Bay County smallholders’ profit from groundnuts. Agricultural extension agents should hold field days regularly, market them, and make them relevant to farmers. Smallholder farmers were encouraged to produce groundnuts commercially, employ more modern inputs, and investigate commodity value addition.
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