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Title: Assessing the Uptake of System of Rice Intensification Practices
Authors: Ouma, Marilda Auma
Keywords: Rice Intensification Practices
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Globally, sustainable intensification in rice growing systems and practices has been accelerating in response to the declining productivity trends and the high market demand, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa where uptake of improved technology is low. However, in Oluch irrigation scheme, Rangwe Sub-County, Kenya, weak networks and low innovative capacity are associated with smallholder rice farmers’ which has significantly contributed to limited uptake of system of rice intensification (SRI) technology. This study sought to assess the uptake of SRI through a facilitated innovation platform (IP) to promote uptake of the technology in an interactive manner, with an aim of boosting the knowledge and skills in the intensification of rice production. The study adopted action learning research design where an IP was established to facilitate participatory learning and uptake of SRI in the scheme. A sample size of 101 farmers were selected from a population of 369 smallholder rice farmers to participate in the baseline survey. Out of the 101 farmers sampled for the baseline survey, 24 farmers were selected for the IP. Data was collected using structured questionnaires, FGD guides, observation checklists, and key informant interviews. Tests for validity and reliability were conducted using Cronbach’s Alpha (coefficient of 0.82). SPSS was used for quantitative data analysis, while R-software was used for Social Network Analysis. Inferential statistical approaches used were Chi-Square, Correlation and Multiple Linear Regression models were used for the analysis of quantitative data. All statistical tests were conducted at the 5% level of significance. At baseline, farmers identified several complex and competing challenges that required the action of multiple stakeholders. Study findings showed very limited implementation of SRI practices. Integration of SRI through IP approach was found to be effective among smallholder rice farmers in Oluch. The IP, and the establishment of rice growing demonstration plot in a commonly identified Block BL 5.1 enabled stakeholders to work in a structured, more effective manner with greater effect towards SRI uptake. Given this observation, the study concluded that if facilitated properly through the IP, farmers who normally experience low productivity and earn low income can overcome challenges and increase their productivity thus enhancing their income. Similarly, farmers would have a greater opportunity to interact among themselves and with other stakeholders to address production challenges associated with demands of food and nutrition insecurity, SDGs and Vision 2030. Based on the findings, this study recommends a need for policies within the rice sector that supports facilitation of stakeholder networks such as IP approaches to enhance farmers’ innovative capacities to promote production.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Education and Community Studies

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