Effects of Land Management Practice on Adaptation of Smallholder Farming System in Kakamega County, Kenya

Gladys Hopillo, Paul Gesimba

Abstract


Recent incidences of extreme weather changes have led to severe drought in most parts of the country, asituation which has severely affected the agricultural sector which is one of the main economic pillars ofthe Kenyan economy. Recent studies have shown that Western Kenya has experienced rapid populationgrowth (4.7%), land sub-division and food shortage over the years. This study aims to bring to lighteffects of land management practices such as land subdivision, land demand and food security on adaptation of smallholder farming systems in Kakamega County, Kenya. The theoretical underpinning of the study was guided by Boserup Theory and Adaptation Theory. The anniversary concurrent triangulation mixed methods research design was used. Data was collected using questionnaires and a focus group discussion. Cornbrash’s alpha coefficient of reliability was 0.83; construct validity was checked and confirmed through piloting. A sample size of 84 was computed at 30 percent of the target population of 280 farmers (Kothari, 2004). Data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively using SPSS and NVIVO 12 statistical programs respectively. Spearman’s correlation analysis was conducted at 5 percent level of significance where the values of correlation coefficients were not statistically significant.  Correlation analysis yielded, r = - 0.003 for food security, r = - 0.044 for land subdivision, while land demand had the highest r = 0.042. From the thematic analysis, it was evident that government support is crucial for sustainable agriculture in the County. The results shall be useful to smallholder farmers, development practitioners, and policymakers.

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