Improved production systems for traditional food crops: The case of finger millet in Western Kenya
Increasing agricultural productivity through the dissemination of improved cropping practices remains one of the biggest challenges of this century. A considerable amount of literature is dedicated to the adoption of improved cropping practices among smallholder farmers in developing countries. While most studies focus on cash crops or main staple crops, traditional food grains like finger millet have received little attention in the past decades. The present study aims to assess the factors that are influencing adoption decisions among finger millet farmers in Western Kenya. Based on cross-sectional household data from 270 farmers, we estimate a multivariate probit model to compare the adoption decisions in finger millet and maize production. While improved practices such as the use of a modern variety or chemical fertilizer are well known in maize production, they are less common in finger millet production. Results show that social networks as well as access to extension services play a crucial role in the adoption of improved finger millet practices, while the same variables are of minor importance for the adoption of improved maize practices. A Cobb-Douglas production function shows a positive effect of modern varieties and chemical fertilizer on finger millet yields.
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