IMPACT OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES ON RURAL LIVELIHOODS OF SMALLHOLDER FARMERS KIKUYU SUB-COUNTY, KIAMBU COUNTY.
PENINAH WANJIRU WAMAITHA
A RESEARCH PROPOSAL SUBMITTED TO THE SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT FOR THE AWARD OF DEGREE IN BACHELOR OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES AT JOMO KENYATTA UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY.
Background of the study
Agriculture is an important source of livelihood for the majority of rural people. It is estimated that 2.5 billion of the developing world’s 3 billion rural inhabitants are in households involved in agriculture, with 1.5 billion of these in smallholder households (World Bank2007). A rural livelihood is defined as the capabilities, assets and activities that rural people require for a means of living (FAO 2003). Anderson (2007) defines the terms agricultural extension and advisory services as “the entire set of organizations that support and facilitate people engaged in agricultural production to solve problems and to obtain information, skills and technologies to improve their livelihoods” (p. 6). Agricultural extension services provide farmers with important information, such as patterns in crop prices, new seed varieties, crop management, training in new technologies and marketing.
In Kenya, public agricultural extension services began during the colonial period and continued after independence in 1963 (Muyanga, 2004). There are a number of stakeholders involved in the provision of extension services here in Kenya. The main extension service providers include; public extension sector under The Ministry of Agriculture, private sectors, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and farm inputs and agro-chemical companies (Munyua, 2010). The firms involved in the provision of extension services include; Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) , European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD), Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such Farm concern, private and inputs companies such as Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), international firms such International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Centre for Insects Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and International Centre for Research and Agroforestry (ICRAF) among others. A number of extension models and styles have been used over the years by the Ministry of Agriculture in the dissemination of extension services, which include; progressive or model farmer approach, integrated agricultural rural development approach, farm management, training and visit (T;V), attachment of officers to organizations, farming systems approaches and farmer field schools (FFS).
After the implementation of structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) in the 1980s, the Kenyan government came under considerable pressure to scale down their dominant role in national economies (FAO 1997). There was a reduction in Kenya’s agricultural extension budget together with extension staff number and at the same time performance of the public agricultural extension service in Kenya was questioned. The traditional public extension system was perceived as outdated, top-down, paternalistic, inflexible, subject to bureaucratic inefficiencies and was considered unable to cope with the dynamic demands of modern agriculture.
In response to these challenges, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development formulated the National Agricultural Extension Policy (NEAP) which was aimed at guiding improvements in delivery of extension services in 2001. The NEAP recognized the need to diversify, decentralize and strengthen the provision of extension services to increase their sustainability and relevance to farmers. The NEAP was meant to form the basis for all extension work within the government and in its interaction with other stakeholders in agricultural research and development. To operationalize the NEAP, the ministry prepared a National Agricultural and Livestock Extension Programme (NALEP. The programme aims at enhancing the contribution of agriculture and livestock to social and economic development and poverty alleviation by promoting pluralistic, efficient, effective and demand-driven extension services to farmers and agro-pastoralists. From the development of agricultural extension since the independence period there has been an effect of these extensions especially the technology on small scale farmers and also large scale farmers in Kenya especially in Kiambu County where in regions such as Kikuyu,GatunduNorth and South where agriculture is being practiced both on large scale farming and small scale farming the types of farming include, maize, vegetables, tea, coffee which have greatly assisted our country Kenya gross domestic product. It is also seen that these extensions have increased the production of farm products in Kiambu by 79.3% where a farmer in Kiambu county has now access to market and production is effective at all times. Therefore the need for the study of these impacts of agricultural extensions to get a better understanding and what it does and the recommendation made at the end of the study the extension services being undertaken in the agricultural sector include crops and animal husbandry, livestock management, county abattoirs and plant and animal disease control, these extension services which were emphasized and supported by the Kiambu County government has highly impacted the small farm holders as the productivity level has increased by 32% in 2017, even though there are challenges but he extension services in agriculture is working tremendously in improving the livelihoods. (Kiambu website, 2017)
In the Agricultural sector, extension service plays a vital role in sharing knowledge, technologies, agricultural information and also linking the farmer to other actors in the economy (Republic of Kenya, 2007). There is a general consensus that extension services, if properly designed and implemented, can improve agricultural productivity hence improved food security (Romani 2003, Evenson and Mwabu 2001). Agricultural extension brings about changes in household food security, through education and communication into farmer’s attitude, knowledge and skills (Koyenikan, 2008).However the extension system in Kenya faces a number of challenges. According to Julius Odera, 2014 the extension system in Kenya is understaffed; the small number of the extension agents is quite small to reach the farmers countrywide effectively. Limited funds also pose a challenge for the small holder farmers because as much as they may have information on modern agricultural technologies to aid an improvement in agricultural production, they lack the necessary credit to acquire them. A need therefore arises to conduct a research on the impacts of agricultural extension services on rural small holder farmers.
1.3 Objectives of the study
1.3.1 General objective
The overall objective of the study is to assess the impact of agricultural extension services on rural livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Kikuyu sub county, Kiambu County.
1.3.2 Specific objectives
1. Explore the delivery methods of agricultural extension services to the rural farmers in Kikuyu sub-county.
2. To analyze the socio economic benefits of the extension services on rural livelihoods of small holder farmers in Kikuyu sub-county.
3. To asses challenges faced by small holder farmers in the access of agricultural extension services in Kikuyu sub-county.
4. Explore the ways in which extension services have been improved to benefit rural small holder farmers.
1.4 Research questions
1. What are the delivery methods of agricultural extension services to the rural farmers in Kikuyu sub-county?
2. What are the socio economic benefits of the extension services on the rural livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Kikuyu sub-county?
3. What are the challenges faced by smallholder farmers in the access of agricultural extension services in Kikuyu sub-county??
4. How have extension services been improved to benefit rural small holder farmers?
1.5 Significance of the study
The relevance of this study is that it will help the researcher to get to know well the area of the study that is, all the variables present and how to relate them. It also helps the community at large that is the people or the small holders farmers of Kiambu County by showing or articulating to them how these agricultural extension helps to bring about high produce in agriculture and how it affects the small holders farmers and it’s also important to the nation and the international units of the world in that it shows them the extent to which these extensions have reached Kiambu county and in the world, and if these extensions in agriculture reach those communities how do they affect their social setting and economic gains, the study enables the nation to come up with policies to assist these communities to gain from the advantages of these extensions.
The study will aid in finding out if the agricultural extension services are of benefit to the farmers or otherwise. This will help the government, program planners and extension agents to improve on planning and delivery of the extension services. The significance of this study also lies in the fact that the successful conduct and documentation of the findings will add to the existing body of literature and also serve as a guide for further research.
1.6 Scope of the study
The study will be conducted in kikuyu sub-county, Kiambu County. More focus will be given to the crop farming and have a look at the extent to which the extension services have helped improve their living standards.
This chapter entails the reviewing of relevant literature on the impact of agricultural extension services on the rural livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Kikuyu sub county, Kiambu county.. It is composed of the theoretical review, empirical review, conceptual framework and a summary.
Theoretical framework is the structure which contains a group of related ideas which when combined provide guidance to a given research study. This helps in the social sciences to explain the primary purpose of the research which is explaining the meaning, nature and the experiences associated with a phenomenon that have been experienced but not yet explained. The knowledge obtained is then used to explain the phenomenon and give a better understanding of the research of how extension services improve agricultural production either through providing farmers with important information, such as patterns in crop prices, new seeds varieties, management practices with respect to crop cultivation and marketing and also training in new technologies.
2.2.1Theory of change
This theory is also called the pathway theory and majorly works on the change that addresses the underlying cause of poverty and women’s exclusion in agriculture in most of the developing countries. This theory emerged in the 1990s at the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change. Huey Chen, Peter Rossi, Michael Quinn Patton, Helene Clarke and Carol Weiss had been working on how to apply this theory since 1980 and finally culminated in 1995.This theory was related to; Capacity building, whereby there is need of knowledge opportunity, for women in the agricultural sector especially rural areas and also to improve their roles as members of their households and the community.
Access, household individuals need to have control and access over services and certain assets including land, water and financial assistance and extension services in order to improve their wellbeing.Productivity, individuals especially women need to have the know-how, set of skills as well as opportunities to increase the productivity of their land through sustainable agriculture.
Enabling environment, with this formal and in informal policies are believed to be effective and have a significant role in women’s empowerment. So both must be acknowledged in order to help in the achievement of women’ empowerment and agricultural growth
2.2.2 Extension theory
This evolved from rural sociology and over time it has developed to be the same as social psychology and communication (Roling 1988). Traditionally, it was assumed that farmers would obviously benefit from new innovations in agriculture and thus it was believed that they would all embrace the new innovations. Therefore the measure of success of an innovation in agriculture depended on how many farmers have adopted it. And a further assumption was that the use of these innovations would increase depending on the rate in which the information concerning the innovation was communicated to the farmers through the social networks. This is what led to the creation of a formal process of communicating to farmers which was called extension. The aim was to ensure that information was well conveyed from one end to the other in the farm sector, and the only challenge they had was to formulate an effective communication channel. Much more, the term extension in the agricultural sector has developed to become a center of technological transfer, research training, marketing, industry development, learning, communication, education, self -development activities which aims at bringing out positive attitudes and agriculture ( Fulton, et al 2003). This has helped us provide insights into the communication aspects and also in decision making and the adoption process of new innovations in agriculture. Through the introduction of the extension services into the agricultural sector, the theory explains how the extension has helped improve the rural livelihoods in the decisions they make in the agriculture and moreover, with that, there has been betterment of the rural livelihoods and their attitude towards the extension services.
2.2.3 Diffusion theory
Rural sociology is believed to be the source of diffusion research (Yates 2001). Interviews was the main method of data collection. Diffusion theory have their origins in the explanation of adoption of new innovations and technological changes in the agricultural sector. Since then the scope of diffusion theories and associated empirical research has broadened.
Rogers (1995) points out that diffusion is not a single theory rather it is a several theoretical perspectives that led to the overall concept of diffusion. According to Yates (2001), there are four factors that influence adoption of an innovation. These include;
The innovation itself and the nature of the society.The communication channels used to spread this information concerning the new innovation.
This theory of diffusion is backed up by four more theories (Rogers 1995) which include innovation-decision theory, individual innovativeness theory, theory of rate of adoption and theory of perceived attributes. Apart from re-emphasizing on communication channels and their influence this theory adds up to the extent of change agents which include development agencies, advertisers. Of importance is communication and also the process where information is created and shared to reach a mutual level of understanding between individuals.This confirms that adoption of an innovation is a mental process that evolves over time.
It brings a clear understanding of attitudes and how it influences the decision of whether to adopt or reject a given innovation and how the rural livelihoods adapt to the changes in agriculture and apply the new ideas from the extension services.
2.3 Empirical literature.
According to Amsterdam Rodopi, (1991), empirical literature is based on observed and measured phenomena and gets knowledge from actual experience and facts rather than from theory, ideas given by people or certain beliefs. It is clear, however, that the empirical study of literature by its specific approach of the object and its focus on methodology is an outstanding way to explore the socio-cultural aspects of the literary system Helmut Buske, (1982). It makes an irreplaceable contribution to the development of a more rational, scientific, and socially relevant study of literature. Therefore, the empirical literature will give an understanding through observation, deduction and evaluation of how the rural livelihoods of Kikuyu Sub County are affected by the extension services with the given objectives.
2.3.1 Delivery methods of agricultural extension services to the rural farmers
According to Michael C Madukwe, (2006), extension delivery approaches in developing has been of great failure. This has led to the concern which has been engineered by the wave of pluralism and the globalization taking place all over the world .with the rapid growing population, political instability, environmental degradation leading to climatic change, having a look at how agricultural technology is delivered to farmers has become really important. This has led to realization of some issues that need to be considered by developing countries on how the extension services are brought about to the rural farmers. This includes the farmer group approach and farmer field school approach.
According to (String fellow et al 1997), benefits are likely to be high where the production of high value commodity is involved and where linkages with other stakeholders are valued by the group and not individuality.
On the other hand, farmer field schools is the participatory method based on adult learning cycle and this could be through observation, concrete experience and active experimentation this has led to over 900 FFSs have been implemented in Kenya. (Davis and Place, 2013). The FFSs allow the rural farmers gain knowledge, and also offer opportunities to the end users to choose and adapt the type of technology that fits best to their agricultural needs. Through participation in FFS, farmers develop the required skills needed for them to fit in the developing world making them competitive in the agricultural sector. The success of extension service delivery depends on the expertise and technical know-how of the extension personnel, which could be achieved by providing adequate and relevant information. The extension services therefore are used to serve as a vehicle for conveying and educating farmers on the new agricultural policies and practices. Perhaps, for this to be optimally realized, well trained and articulated extension workers are needed to extending extension messages to wide range of farmers who live significantly in the rural areas added that for these farmers to improve their farming practices towards adopting new technologies or improved farming practices; certainly they require to be trained in order to use different extension methods. Extension methods are effective means of communication meant to transmit knowledge and skills and, that target farmers may easily see, hear, and learn the things conveyed by extension worker. There are various extension teaching methods used as tools by the extension worker to effect desirable changes in the behavior of farmers, arrange the best learning situations and provide opportunities in which useful communication and interaction takes place between extension workers and farmers. Such teaching methods/pathways include group training, demonstration plot, adopted villages, On Farm Adaptive Research and mass media. Since some of these extension delivery methods are known to be effective it is not certain whether they have impacted positively on the cropping systems of arable crop farmers in the state. (Okpara, 2017)
2.3.2 The effect of extension services on the socio economic status of rural livelihoods.
According to FAO, (2017), agriculture remains to be the main source of income for around 2.5 billion people in the developing world. The impact of agriculture to rural farmers varies from economic growth, social development, poverty reduction, food security rural development and environment.
Anderson, (2007), says that agricultural extension and advisory services as the entire set of organizations that support and facilitate people engaged in agricultural extensions.
Rural farmers have benefited from the extension services in many ways. These contain both the special ad economic conditions which at a high rate has greatly improved. With the new technological adoption and integration of better agricultural farming skills, being competent in the farm sector has improved the living standards of rural farmers due to increased rise in economic gain.
Social welfare has also improved through the increased of living standards of the rural farmers over time. Anderson(, 2007), says that small scale farmers have gained support from donors like the world bank since 1970 when it started financing integrated rural development projects. This has thus boosted the socio economic development of the rural farmer’s livelihoods.
2.3.3 Challenges faced by small holder farmers in the access of agricultural extension services.
The extension service is one of the critical change agents required in transforming subsistence farming to a modern and commercial agriculture to promote household food security, improve income and reduce poverty. However there is limited access to extension services in most parts of the country with the National extension staff: farmer ratio standing at 1:1,500. This situation has hindered most farmers from keeping pace with changing technological advances. There is therefore need for recruitment of more extension staff and the involvement of NGO’s to increase access of extension services to farmers (Kenya Farm trend 2018).
Extension agents tend to work very closely with middle income farmers and pay little attention to resource-poor. This is because the criteria used to evaluate performance of extension agent are based on the number of farmers adopting the technology packages in their mandate area. In the majority of countries of sub-Saharan Africa, farmers show lack of confidence in extension workers (Dixon, 2010).
In the agricultural extension systems, there have been certain problems faced in its day to day activities hindering the smooth flow of projects. According to White(2009), extension contact plays a central role in the success of extension programs and this is highly depended on the attitude given by the farmers. For instance, the extension agents tend to attend to the more productive farmers leaving behind the poor farmers.at other situations, the farmers are unable to differentiate between the impacts of technologies disseminated by the extension agents from the other sources of information. This gets more difficult especially with farmers that are not educated and cannot easily understand the technological education (Oleru et.al 2005), difficulty in establishing control groups is quite inconvenient nationwide as information flows down from the agents to the receiving parties, information tends to be’ spilled’ and it gets quite difficult to receive uncontaminated information.
2.3.4 Ways in which extension services have been improved for the betterment of the rural livelihoods.
Due to the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture introduced e-extension services with the aim of reaching a huge number of farmers in the country,(Julius Odera, 2014).since the country is majorly agro based, the small number of the extension agents was quite small to reach the farmers countrywide effectively.
The e-extension program was launched to help foster food security, through adoption of smart modes of mass communication to reach the rural farmers in an easy and convenient way. Former assistant director of agriculture, Wanjohi James,(2014 )added that the new program would help transform agriculture in the country into a pluralistic, demand driven decentralized value chain and market driven by giving famers information in an easy and efficient way.
2.4 Conceptual Framework
A conceptual framework is an analytical tool which is used to make conceptual distinctions and organize ideas (Isaiah Berlin, 2013). The conceptual framework of the study is based on input process and output. The framework shows how the independent variables influence the dependent variables. The independent variables which are identification of the needy, payment mechanisms, multispectral programming recipients’ attitudes, collaboration and community participation are in place. They affect how the implementation of the program is done and ultimately affecting the dependent variable which is effective implementation of the extension services program.
This chapter presents the techniques and procedures employed in conducting a research. That is the research design, area of study, target population, sampling design, instruments of data collection, data analysis and ethical considerations.
3.2 Research Design
Ogula (2005) describes a research design as a plan, structure and strategy of investigation to obtain answers to research questions and control variance. The study will be conducted through a case study design. A case study is a way of organizing educational data and looking at the object to be studied as a whole (Kombo, 2006). The researcher will prefer a case study design as explained by Sekaran (2000) involves in-depth contextual analysis of similar situation in other organization where the nature and definition of the problem happen to be same as experience in the current situation. Any method used will be suitable for the researcher to understand the impacts of agricultural extension on small scale farmers.
3.3 Study area
Kikuyu ward is located in Kikuyu constituency, Kiambu County about 25Km from the Nairobi Central Business District. Kikuyu ward is composed of two sub-locations namely; Kikuyu and Thogoto. According to the 2009 National Census it has a population of 32,422 and covers an area of 21.00 square kilometers. The town is named after the Kikuyu people who are the major ethnicity group settled in the area. Due to its geology and good soil texture there is much agricultural activities in the area, both livestock and crop farming. Majority of the population is dependent on agriculture for income. Thus agricultural extension services are essential to them as they will aid an improvement in agricultural yields through acquisition of skills and necessary knowledge on agricultural production.
3.3.2 Target Population
Target population is defined as the universal set of a study of all members of real or hypothetical set of people , events or subjects to which an investigator wishes to generate this result (Mugenda and Mugenda, 2003). The study will target the farmers in Kiambu County. This is to ensure that the research gets deep to the farmers of Kiambu County and how these agricultural extensions affect their farming lives.
The study will target 5 leaders such as chief and village elders, 5 agricultural extension officers 90 small holder farmers. Thus the target population will comprise 100 respondents.
Table 3.3 Target respondents in Kiambu County
Leaders i.e. Mps, Governor 5
Agricultural extension officers 5
3.4 Sampling design and sample size determination
Kothari (2004) defines sampling as the selection of aggregate or totality on the basis of which a judgment or inference about the aggregate or totality is made, whereby information about an entire population is acquired by examining only a part of it. There are so many farmers in Kiambu County but my study will only be concentrated on 100 farmers. The sampling technique will be random sampling, a list of all farmers will be compiled but only 100 homesteads will be picked at random to carry out the study. This is due to the inconveniences involved in visiting all the households door to door, e.g. availability of the respondents in all households.
3.5 Data collection instruments and method
The main instrument to be used for data collection will be a questionnaire. A questionnaire is a set of questions or statements that assesses the attitudes, opinions, beliefs and biographical information (Mc Millan & Schumacher, 2001). The questionnaire will employ both close and open ended questions to enable the collection of qualitative and quantitative data.
Structured questionnaires are an effective method of collecting data especially on large samples and can be easily analyzed.(Cooper & Schindler, 2006). Additionally, the questionnaires will be used because of its potential of reaching out to a large number of respondents within a short time, able to give the respondents adequate time to respond to the items, offers a sense of security (confidentiality) to the respondent and it is an objective method since there is no bias resulting from the personal characteristics (as in an interview) (Owens, 2002). The questionnaire will be divided into two sections, A and B. Section A will be aimed at acquiring the demographic characteristics of the respondents. Section B will be used to collect data on the impacts of extension services on rural households, Kikuyu Constituency. Key informant interview guide will be developed to provide necessary qualitative data on the respondents drawn from each of the words. Key informants are members of a group or stakeholders in the issues under study who have special knowledge that is otherwise not available to a research(Gall &Borg,2003). The advantage of this instrument is that it can be used to croos validate research findings obtained by using the questionairres(Gall &Borg,2003).
3.6 Data collection procedure
Collection of data will follow certain steps. To begin with, the questionnaires will be cross-checked by the researcher to ensure that they contain what is intended to be achieved by the research. This will be followed by a subjecting of the data collection instruments to a pilot test. After being granted permission to conduct the research by the authorities, the questionnaires will be handed to the respondents within Kikuyu constituency. The researcher will also conduct interviews for the key informants on a one on one basis, which will be guided by the objectives of the study while taking short notes in the course of the interview.
3.7 Pilot study
According to Porta(2008) a pilot study is a small scale test of the methods and procedures to be used on a larger scale. The aim of conducting a pre-test will be to gauge the clarity and relevance of the data instrument items so that the items found to be inadequate for measuring variables are either discarded or modified to improve the quality of the research instruments. A pilot study will be undertaken in Kikuyu sub-county in one of the wards. The ward where the pilot study will take place will be selected randomly using the simple random technique however; the sample of respondents used will be excluded from the main survey.
3.7.1 Reliability of instruments
Mugenda and Mugenda (1999) define reliability ‘as a measure of the degree to which a research instrument yields consistent results or data after repeated tests when administered a number of times. . The test re-test method will be used to estimate the reliability of instruments. It will involve administering the same test twice to the same group of respondents who have been identified for this purpose. The scores of each test will be recorded separately. The tools will also be subject to a pre-test to test if the questions are clear and easily understandable.
3.7.2 Validity of instruments
According to Bridget and Lewin (2005), validity refers to the degree by which the sample of test items represents the content the test is designed to measure.
This study will use construct and face validity in the construction of the questionnaire to ensure validity. It will also use content validity to ensure that the measure covers a broad range of areas within the concept under study.
3.8 Data analysis and presentation
Mugenda and Mugenda (2003) define data as a collection of facts and figures relating to a particular activity under study. After the data has been collected it will be cross-examined to ascertain its accuracy, competencies and identify items that may be wrongly responded to, and also blank spaces. Analysis of the data will be done using both quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques. Tables, charts, percentages and graphs will be used in the case of the quantitative technique, while description of tables and graphs will be used in the case of the qualitative analysis.
3.9 Ethical considerations
The researcher plans to ensure that the questionnaires and interviews are non-invasive and that the information gathered is solely for academic purpose. The researcher will also make it clear that the participation is voluntary and that the respondents will be free to decline or withdraw any time during the research period and that respondents will not coerce into participating in the study. In upholding ethical considerations, the researcher will also seek the requisite permission from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology prior to data collection.