International network for natural sciences – research journal
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Assessment of socio-economic factors affecting production of African nightshades vegetable for enhanced livelihoods in Siaya county, Kenya

By: K. Owuor Owuor, O. Andika Darius, N. Alice Muriithi

Key Words: African Nightshades, Livelihoods, Socio-economics, Production, Vegetable.

Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res. 9(6), 126-134, December 2016.

Abstract

African nightshades (Solanum-related species) are important African leafy vegetables consumed by rural communities in most parts of Kenya. They are easy to grow, rich in vitamins, minerals, have medicinal properties, contributes to poverty alleviation and nutritional security. However, the current data show that their production is low. Integration of this crop into mainstream horticulture has been very slow due to low yields that are considered uneconomical compared to other high-value horticultural crops. Farmers of African nightshades obtain yields of about 3.0 tons ha-1compared to potential yields of about 30 tons ha-1. The purpose of this study was to investigate socio-economic characteristics affecting production. A household survey on 205 African nightshades growing farmers was conducted using structured questionnaires. The collected data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, binomial regression analysis and Chi-square test for inferential statistics at the 5% level of significance. The results on socio-economic factors were statistically significant and positively influenced African nightshades production. These were age, location, education, household, title deeds and income. The study concluded that production of nightshades was influenced by farmers’ socio-economic factors. The study recommended that the Government and other stakeholders in African nightshades production should put more effort towards improving small-scale farmers’ socio-economic factors to achieve the economic pillar of Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.

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