Influence of demographics and weather information seeking behaviour on food production by small-scale farmers, Mbeere South sub - county, Kenya

Nthigah, Silas Wachira
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Strathmore University
The agriculture sector in developing countries is increasingly becoming knowledge intensive due to weather and climate change. Climate change has been affecting the amount of rainfall that some areas have been receiving, both in quality and quantity. This therefore, affects the production of crops in areas where farmers rely on rain fed agriculture. Seasonal weather forecasts have a great potential for helping in improving food and nutrition security, human livelihoods and agricultural potential of areas where rainfall patterns have changed and extreme weather events are expected. The main objective of the study was to establish the influence of information seeking behavior on food production by small-scale farmers, Mbeere South sub-county, Kenya. This study employed descriptive research design. The population for this study involved 26,037 small-scale farmers and the sample size was 150 small-scale farmers. The main instruments for the study was the use of questionnaires that was administered to the respondents. The study used quantitative techniques in analyzing the data. Descriptive analysis was employed. Inferential statistics such as correlation and regression analysis were used. The organized data was interpreted because concurrence to objectives using assistance of a computer software to communicate the research findings. The research found that demographic factors have positive influence on food production by small-scale farmers in Mbeere South sub-county. It also found out that there was strong positive correlation between the factors influencing weather information seeking behavior, preferred sources of weather information, effects of information seeking behavior and crop production in Mbeere South sub- county. An increase in any one of them would result in an increase of the food production in the targeted area. The researcher recommended that policies should be put in place that would improve delivery and use of weather information to small-scale farmers, which would in turn help in improving the food production by the small-scale farmers.
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Public Policy and Management at Strathmore University.
Weather information seeking behaviour, Small - scale farmers, Policy recommendation, Food security, Information use