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|Title:||Analysis of factors influencing sweet potato value addition amongst smallholder farmers in Rachuonyo South District, Kenya|
|Authors:||Orinda, Mary Akinyi|
|Abstract:||Rachuonyo South district is resource endowed in terms of land productivity as is evidenced by annual production outputs of various crops. Sweet potatoes are the main cash crops grown in these areas alongside others such as pineapples, bananas and to some extent tea and coffee. The high outputs enjoyed from the productive lands have not however translated into good living conditions for the residents as their products fetch little in terms of market price the farmers get. Farmers have the option of adding value to their sweet potatoes to fetch optimal prices; which have been advocated in the district by many non- governmental organizations. This study therefore established different value addition techniques being practiced in the district and evaluated the factors influencing value addition and also extent. Systematic sampling method was used to obtain an appropriate sample size. Questionnaires were administered to the respective farmers. Data analysis was done using SPSS statistical software. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze different value addition techniques practiced in the district. Independent t- test and chi square were used to establish if there were any significant differences of socio economic characteristics between value adders and non-value adders. Heckman two stage model was used to examine the factors influencing value addition. Results showed that majority of the farmers in the district were involved in grading and packaging, slicing and sun-drying, grinding the sweet potatoes into flour, baking, preparing additives and juice and jam as forms of sweet potato value addition. Some of the factors that were found to influence the decision to add value and extent of value addition were household size, total quantity produced, credit access, land size of the respondents, distance to the market and group membership, From the findings of this study, the policy makers should encourage farmer group formation, value addition loan packages for smallholder farmers, seminars, farmer field days, workshops to enable exchange of ideas among different farmers and further encourage farmers to produce more to enjoy economies of scale there. Marketing of the processed sweet potato products still remain a challenge which calls for proper marketing strategies such as linking farmers with supermarkets. Inadequate product development, proper packaging and labeling are other challenges that require urgent attention through acquiring certification from Kenya Bureau of Standards.|
|Appears in Collections:||Faculty of Agriculture|
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