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Title: The role of scaling upfarmer field schoolsand rainforest alliance certification on sustainable tea production among small-scale tea producers west of Rift Valley, Kenya
Authors: Buses, Betty Chelang’at
Keywords: Upfarmer field schools -- Rainforest alliance certification -- Tea production
Issue Date: Oct-2012
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has been encouraging adoption of sustainable tea production, through FFS and RA certification, among small-scale tea producers west of Kenya‘s Rift Valley since 2006 and 2010 respectively. FFS was a methodology of choice because of its experiential and practical learning approach. Those organisations that had used FFS approach had reported it to be successful, whereas RA certification guarantees sustainable use of agricultural and forestry resources and enhance market access. However, the challenge was how to up-scale FFS and RA certification to cover more KTDA factories. There was also inadequate information and documentation of FFS experiences and extension delivery mechanisms on tea production. This study sought to provide that missing information and contribute to the design of a cost-effective model for up-scaling RA certification and FFS in tea production so that small-scale tea producers can produce tea sustainably that fetches higher and profitable prices. This would ensure their sustainable livelihoods through improved incomes. The study utilized across-sectional survey design with stratified sampling to collect data from 260 randomly selected smallholder tea producers who delivered green leaf tea to KTDA factories West of Rift Valley, using a semi-structured questionnaire. The validity of the questionnaire was ascertained by a panel of ten extension experts. The instrument produced a Cronbach‘s alpha reliability coefficient of α=0.92 after a pilot test in Nandi County. Data collection was done after obtaining a research permit from the National Council for Science and Technology. Data collected was cleaned, coded and analyzed at a confidence level, set a priori, of 0.05α with the aid of the computer programme, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Qualitative data was analyzed and presented in frequency and percentage distributions tables while quantitative data was analyzed along the objective areas. Pearson Product Moment Correlation and Chi-square were used to test the hypotheses. The study established that scalability of RA certification and FFS had a significant relationship with sustainable tea production among small-scale tea producers west of Rift Valley. It was also established that RA Certification and FFS trainings had positive correlation with small-scale tea producers‘ livelihoods. The study recommends a multi stakeholder financed scalability of RA certification and FFS and tailoring the trainings to enhance farmer livelihood in future. Thefunding has to be multi-stake holder because an individual organisation like KTDA cannot make this investment by itself because the recurrent and upfront costs are higher. If these recommendations are effected, they would go a long way in enhancing sustainable production of safe and high quality tea.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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