ADOPTION AND IMPACT OF IMPROVED PIGEON PEAS ON FARMING HOUSEHOLD POVERTY IN SEMI-ARID SOUTH EAST KENYA
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to assess the factors influencing adoption of improved pigeon peas in semi-arid South Eastern Kenya and to evaluate the impact of adoption on households’ poverty.
Methodology: The study used cross sectional data gathered through household survey to establish the factors influencing improved pigeon pea adoption. Propensity score matching approach was further used to assess the impact of adoption on households’ poverty.
Findings: The results show that farmers’ access to improved pigeon pea seed, contact with agricultural extension service providers and access to market information significantly influenced adoption (p< 0.001). Adopters and non-adopters got an average net farm income of Kenya shillings (KES) 29,570 and 21, 490 per acre per year respectively. Adoption of improved pigeon peas resulted in a decrease of head count poverty by 0.24% and a reduction of poverty gap and poverty severity by 0.30% and 0.20 % respectively.
Contribution to theory, practice and policy: The study recommends that both National and County Government make policies that create enabling environment for private sector participation in production of certified seed to improve farmers’ access to improved seed to augment production. Facilitating farmers’ improved access to reliable and timely market information will increase production of marketable surplus of the peas that are adaptable to semi-arid areas, increase fall income and contribute to reduction of rural poverty.
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