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Title: Comparative analysis of greenhouse versus open-field small-scale tomato production in Nakuru-North district, Kenya
Authors: Wachira, John Mwangi
Keywords: Greenhouse -- Open-field -- Tomato
Issue Date: Oct-2012
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is one of the major vegetables grown in Kenya as a commercial crop. It is mainly grown in the open-field under both rain-fed and irrigation production systems. The crop has gained popularity as a cash crop due to declining land sizes as it can be grown on small-scale unlike traditional cash crops like coffee and tea. Since the crop is susceptible to diseases and weather conditions, the country does not have an all year round supply of the produce. Consequently, tomato production in Kenya has taken a new dimension of greenhouse production. The uptake of the technology has however been low with the cost of greenhouse installation and maintenance being cited as a major obstacle. However, studies elsewhere have shown that this is a short term problem but the long term use of the technology is economically viable. To validate these arguments, this study sought to carry out a comparative analysis of greenhouse versus open-field small-scale tomato production, in Nakuru-North district. The main objective was to provide insights into the feasibility and profitability of small-scale tomato farming. Stratified sampling procedure was used for greenhouse and open-field systems. Primary and secondary data were gathered for both systems. Primary data were collected through a field survey with the help of structured interview schedules, while secondary data were gathered through literature review. STATA and SPSS software packages were used to process collected data for 216 farmers of these farmers comprising of 96 and 120 greenhouse and open-field farmers, respectively. The Binary Logit model was used to determine the factors influencing a tomato farmer‟s decision to adopt a given tomato production system while gross margin and net profit was used in economic analysis. From the results, greenhouse tomato farmers had a mean of 13 years of education while open-field tomato farmers had 11 years. Open-field tomato growers had more farming experience of 11.5 years compared to 6.5 years for greenhouse farmers. The mean income for greenhouse tomato growers was almost twice, higher than that of open-field tomato growers. The Binary Logit results indicate that the decision to adopt greenhouse tomato farming was significantly influenced by road type, land tenure, age of household head, education level of household head, access to credit, farm income, experience, labour and group membership. Net profit/m2 and gross margin/m2 for greenhouse tomato farmers were found to be significantly higher (10 times) than that of their open-field counterparts, implying that greenhouse tomato production system is more profitable than the open-field system. These results imply that education, credit and infrastructural improvement issues need to be addressed for efficient and effective adoption of the viable tomato technology.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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