Influence of farm subsidy on sustainable maize production in Transmara West District, Narok County

This report is on influence of farm subsidy on sustainable maize production in Transmara West District, Narok County. The study was warranted by the continued food deficit in the world where around 925 million out of the total 6.8 billion people in the world are food insecure, 13.1 percent, or almost 1 in 7 people are hungry. From the literature reviewed it was found out that Maize the staple food for many Kenyans has been in the decline over the years. The country suffers a maize deficit of 6.8 million bags (612,000 metric tons). Maize imports cost the country between USD192 and USD 487 per year if imported from Africa and elsewhere respectively. The use of agricultural inputs is fundamental in modem agriculture in developed countries, and they were a primary ingredient in the green revolution that swept through Asia and Latin America during the '60s and '70s. However, the green revolution largely by-passed many African countries, and the use of agricultural inputs remains very low. While agricultural production and productivity soared in Asia and Latin America during the last four decades, they have largely stagnated in Africa, resulting in a rising dependency on imported grains and an increase in the number of food insecure people. Several efforts have been employed in developing the food security, scenario key among which was the use of farm subsidies in various ways with differing results. In Kenya National Accelerated Inputs Access programme was started in 2007 and Transmara West district was chosen. Though not a net food deficit district it was intended to boost its production especially from the poor and the vulnerable farmers who were not using the inputs or using the inputs inadequately. The study therefore was to establish to what extent these farm subsidies have been able to influence maize production in Transmara west district over the four years after it was advanced to the 1500 farmers. A descriptive survey design was chosen since it was found fitting and cost effective for the researcher. A total of 150 farmers were interviewed using a questionnaire. The farmers were stratified into males, females, and youth farmers after which using random sampling technique 10% was chosen. All the 7 agricultural officers participating in the National Accelerated Agriculture Inputs Access programme were chosen using purposive sampling giving a total of 157 respondents. A questionnaire was used to interview the farmers while an interview guide was used for the officers. A pretest was done in Transmara East District of the instruments to test their reliability and viability. seven agricultural officers were be selected using purposive sampling one from the district and one from each division for data triangulation on overall change in food production in the District. Data was collected, coded, and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5 computer software. Descriptive statistics was used to give the outputs. Conclusions and recommendations were made on if farm subsidy has had influence on sustainable food production in Transmara West District. It was found out that despite the government putting lots of effort to provide farm subsidy considerations need to be made in relation to the timeliness, administrative costs, amount, quality and type of farm inputs being given to achieve sustainable food security in Transmara West and Kenya in general. Further recommendations for research were made to the ministry of agriculture to review the modalities of giving farm subsidy to address maize deficit in the country.