A Preliminary Analysis of Yield Gaps in Groundnuts between Research and Non-Research Farmers in Kenya
N. Kidula; N. Okoko; B. E. Bravo-Ureta; M. Thuo; Lusike Wasilwa
Type of Document:
Conference Proceeding or Document
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
Date of Publication:
Place of Publication:
Abstract: Groundnut (Arachis hypogea) is one of the major annual oilseed crops grown by small holder farmers in western Kenya for its economic and nutritive value. However, its productivity has been declining with farmers obtaining less than less than 30 – 50% of the potential yields in Western Kenya. This is attributed to several constraints such: unreliable rainfall; lack of high yielding disease tolerant varieties; pests and diseases; low producer prices; poor agronomic practices; and lack of institutional support. In addition, shrinking farm size coupled with a population growth rate of 3% in Western Kenya suggests that some agricultural interventions are needed to improve farm productivity. The objectives of this study is to provide some preliminary estimates of yield gaps for Southwestern Kenya for two groups of farmers: 1) research farmers defined as farmers who at anytime engaged with on-farm groundnut trials and/or had direct interventions from researchers on groundnuts farming; and 2) non-research farmers defined as farmers who had no direct intervention from researchers and/or extension experts but planted groundnuts. A survey was carried out in Ndhiwa District covering 249 groundnuts growing farmers drawn randomly from three major groundnuts growing divisions. Result from the data indicates that the mean yield for groundnut in Ndhiwa is 950 kg/ha. The average yields for researcher farmers is 903 kg/acre while for non researcher farmers’ is 1010 kg/ha. This average yield is far less than what was reported by researchers in Southwestern Kenya. There is need for training of both extension providers and farmers on improved groundnut production and farming as a business.