Information Needs of Smallholder Farmers in Lake Victoria Basin for Enhancing Climate-smart Agricultural Practices

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this study was to bridge the awareness gap in agricultural information need and use by farmers to improve information access and utilization for enhanced adoption of Climate Smart Agricultural (CSA) practices.

Method – Using a mixed methods approach, the study examined the information needs of smallholder farmers in 5 counties in the Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 382 farmers and 20 county directors of agriculture, ICT, meteorology, and crop production. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze quantitative data while thematic analysis was used on qualitative data.

Results – The findings showed that many farmers (82.46%) were aware of the existence of climate change which had reduced sorghum yield to 0.45 t/Ha. Therefore, farmers had initiated sustainable practices including planting different crop varieties (83.51%) and varying planting dates (65.18%). High yield was prevalent among farmers practicing crop rotation (95.1%) while those who practiced mono-cropping achieved low yields. Also, the use of inorganic fertilizers led to higher yields. Farmers who planted early maturing crops had log odds that were 1.647 points higher for being in a higher yield level than farmers who planted late maturing crops.

Conclusion – The study has the potential to enhance the adaptive capacity of farmers to climate change using suitable CSA practices based on readily available, accessible, and context-specific information

Recommendations – The study recommends that farmers be provided with and/or have access to reliable, actionable, relevant, and timely information that matches their needs to enhance resilience through the adoption of climate-adaptive farming techniques.

Implications – These findings contribute to research by recommending context-specific information to help farmers bridge the information gap. The findings may contribute to policy by proposing CSA strategies that involve information-based support to smallholder farmers to implement sustainable farming practices.

Author Biographies

Stephen Oloo Ajwang, Department of Information Technology, Kibabii University, Kenya

Stephen Ajwang has a BSc. Information Science from Moi University, MSc. Information Technology from Rongo University and is currently a PhD candidate at Kibabii University in Kenya. He has served as a lecturer in the Department of Information Science, Health Records, and Health Systems at Rongo University since 2019. His research interests are in the areas of artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and data mining. He is a fellow of the Michigan Institute of Data Science and an alumnus of UNILEAD and the University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars program. Currently, he is the communication officer for the Association for Information Science & Technology - Africa Chapter.

Patrick Owoche, Department of Information Technology, Kibabii University, Kenya

Patrick Owoche is a Lecturer at the Department of Information Technology at Kibabii University. He is the first supervisor for Stephen Ajwang thesis research work.

Jonathan Mutonyi, Department of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Kibabii University, Kenya

Jonathan Mutonyi is a Lecturer at the Department of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Kibabii University. He is the second supervisor for Stephen Ajwang's thesis research work.

Published
2024-04-06
How to Cite
AJWANG, Stephen Oloo; OWOCHE, Patrick; MUTONYI, Jonathan. Information Needs of Smallholder Farmers in Lake Victoria Basin for Enhancing Climate-smart Agricultural Practices. International Journal of Computing Sciences Research, [S.l.], v. 8, p. 2711-2733, apr. 2024. ISSN 2546-115X. Available at: <//stepacademic.net/ijcsr/article/view/474>. Date accessed: 20 may 2024.
Section
Articles