PR - DRIVERS OF SMALLHOLDER MAIZE PRODUCTION IN TOBACCO DOMINATED MIGORI COUNTY, KENYA
Maize is the main staple food crop in Kenya and is of vital concern to agricultural policy decisions, food security and overall development of the sector and the economy. It is also the dominant staple food crop in the study area. However, there has been a declining trend in maize production among farmers in Migori County, a tobacco growing zone, threatening household and national food security. This paper examines drivers of smallholder maize production in Migori County. A survey was conducted and the target population included all smallholder maize farmers in tobacco growing zones of Migori County. A multistage sampling technique was used. A sample of 165 maize farmers was selected using systematic random sampling. Descriptive statistics such as measures of central tendency, cross tabulation, tables, and bar graphs as well as regression were used to analyze data. Results show that farmer’s age - a proxy for experience, resource base as captured by size of cattle herd, total cropped area and competition from tobacco production influence maize production. Efforts to improve maize production in Migori County should improve resource base of farmers, pay attention to their experience and consider competition for scarce production resources.
Keywords: Drivers, Smallholder, Maize Production, Tobacco Farming, Migori County, Kenya.