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Title: The extension needs of households utilizing riverine wetlands and their contribution to food security in Nyamira Division, Kenya
Authors: Mecha, Ginn Abere
Keywords: Riverine wetlands -- Food security
Issue Date: Apr-2012
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance of 1971 brought out the importance of wetlands in the world and the threats they face. In Kenya various types of wetlands face varying challenges, the major one being conversion for agricultural use. The riverine wetlands in Nyamira Division of Nyamira District, Nyamira County face the same challenges because they have been converted for agricultural use, brick making and growing of woodlots due to declining land on the uplands. The main drive of utilizing the riverine wetlands is household food security. The extension programmes had not adequately addressed the extension needs of households utilizing riverine wetlands. This was because the policies developed on wetlands in Kenya advocate for wetland conservation and preservation and this left the farmers utilizing these riverine wetlands without adequate agricultural extension support. The main objective of the study was to establish the agricultural extension needs of households utilizing riverine wetlands and their contribution to household food security in Nyamira Division. The study used cross-sectional survey design. The target population was made up of 2200 household heads who were utilizing the three riverine wetlands namely Sironga, Charachani and Nyabomite. The study used stratified random sampling to select 120 household heads from the three riverine wetlands. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data from the sample. To authenticate collected data, focus group discussions were held using a discussion guide. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in the study. Inferential statistics used in the study at α = 0.05 were Chi-square to test for the level of influence of extension services on riverine wetland use; ANOVA to test for differences in extension needs and Pearson‟s product moment correlation to test for the correlation between riverine wetland and food security. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) programme. The study revealed the need for agricultural extension services on wise use of riverine wetlands because there was extensive utilization of the riverine wetlands in producing food crops, cash crops, bricks and woodlots. The study indicated that there were no significant differences in agricultural extension needs of households with different wetland uses. The study also showed that utilization of riverine wetlands was contributing to household food security. It is recommended that government policy incorporates the extension needs of households utilizing riverine wetlands in the National Extension programme and recognize their contribution to household food security. This will promote wise use of the wetlands
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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