Determinants Of Maize Yields Among Small Scale Farmers In Trans Nzoia West Sub County, Transnzoia, Kenya

Maize is a global crop. In terms of nutrient formation, maize contains approximately 72% starch, 10% protein, 4% fat supplying 365kcal/100g.It is a staple food in many African countries including Kenya with the largest production from small scale farmers. Investigating to understand the determinants of maize yields among small scale farmers is therefore an important area of study. The purpose of the study was to investigate the determinants of maize yields among small scale farmers in Trans Nzoia West Sub County of Trans Nzoia County in Kenya.. The following objective guided the study; to investigate how access to farm inputs determine maize yields in Trans Nzoia West Sub County; to assess how adoption of modern farming techniques by small scale maize farmers determine maize yields in Trans Nzoia West Sub County; to investigate how incentives to small scale maize farmers determine maize yields Trans Nzoia West Sub County; to assess how weather conditions determine maize yields in Trans Nzoia West Sub County. The study adopted descriptive survey design. The target population was 38,183 representing the total number of households that practice small scale crop farming in Trans Nzoia West Sub County. A Sample size of 396 respondents from small scale maize farmers in Trans Nzoia West was used for the study. Cluster sampling of villages in the wards was done then random sampling done on the clusters to get respondents. Questionnaires and interview schedule was used to collect data. A pilot study was done in the neighboring Chebon location. To ascertain the reliability of the instruments, test-retest method was used. The collected data was then analyzed using frequency tables and percentages and explanations given in each case to guide interpretation. Results of the analysis were interpreted and recommendations made at the end of the study. It was found that 40% and 58% of farmers do not use certified seeds and organic fertilizers respectively largely due to cost, distance and unavailability of the inputs close to their farms. In addition, a large percentage of small scale maize farmers do not test acidity levels or manage nutrient levels of their farms. The inputs subsidy program, difficulties to access credit and unavailability of inputs in farmers’ locations was experienced by a large percentage of small scale maize farmers.46% and 31% respectively of small scale maize farmers’ maize yields had been affected by xiv unreliable rainfall and high temperatures. Recommendations made included; County Government of Trans Nzoia Should, establish inputs distribution centers in sub locations. Streamline inputs subsidy programs and Extension officers to educate farmers on soil acidity and nutrient management. The study suggested further study on how maize yields is affected by small scale maize farmers’ attitude towards modern farming techniques and the influence low market prices for maize and importation of maize which retail at cheap prices.