Article : Factors Influencing Tobacco Production Among Contracted Farmers In Kenya: A Case Of Bungoma County

Title

Factors Influencing Tobacco Production Among Contracted Farmers In Kenya: A Case Of Bungoma County

Author

Davies Machel Muchuma

In Kenya tobacco is grown by about 20,000 small scale contracted and non-contracted farmers on over 15,000 hectares of land. Current annual production is estimated at 16,000 tons per year. Despite tobacco being grown intensively in some regions in Kenya, it is not a significant crop in terms of broader national agricultural production with recent government data indicating that it constitutes a mere 0.6% of total agricultural gross marketed production(Republic of Kenya 2015). Whereas contract farming has empirical validation on improving farmers’ income, there are production constraints that accompany it. The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors influencing tobacco production among contracted farmers in Kenya: A case of Bungoma County.  The objective of the study was toestablish the extent to which demographic characteristics influence tobacco production among contracted farmers in Bungoma County. The study was built on the theory of economic efficiency. Both descriptive and inferential statistics was used to analyze the factors influencing tobacco production.  From a target population of 3000, a sample of 341 was selected. Semi-structured questionnaire was used as instrument of data collection. Content validity was measured through expert judgment while reliability measured by use of test re-test method and Karl Pearson’s co-efficient of correlation [r] determined from the two samples. The strong positive coefficient [r], greater than 0.7 was considered. The data obtained was analyzed using both descriptive statistics and inferential statistics and presented in tables. The study established that Educational level greatly influenced tobacco production with most of the farmers having attained only secondary education. Both age and gender had weak insignificant negative correlation with tobacco production.The study therefore recommends that farmers should prioritize education to equip them with necessary knowledge and skills to improve on-field tobacco management practices

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