Incentives for increasing the production of foodcrops among small scale farmers: A case study of Siaya districtca

There has been increasing concern over the food requirements for the country due to the rapid population increase. This is reflected in the various policy measures taken by the government to increase food production and employment opportunities for the population. Siaya District is one of the food deficit districts in the country despite measures which have been taken to increase food production. This study was aimed at finding out why the District is food deficit and what can be done to increase food production. It was also aimed at analysing the agricultural situation in the district in terms of the agricultural practices, what incentives exist what problems are faced by farmers and how these problems can be solved in order to increase agricultural production. A field survey was carried out in Siaya District to collect data necessary for the study. A designed questionnaire was administered to farmers who were sampled using stratified random sampling procedure. The ordinary least squares technique was used to estimate the specified model. An output function was estimated. Results showed " function was estimated. Results showed that Acreage under maize and hired labour were significant in determining the level of output. When fertilizer was considered, extension services was also significant in determining the level of output. From the study it was found that agriculture in the district is mainly of subsistence nature and small proportion of the produce is sold obligations. Farmers face a number of problems only a very to meet cash among which are lack of access to agricultural credit, high cost of inputs and long distance to the source. Lack of good infrastructural and storage facilities are among the constraints. There are also no official marketing channels and long distance to the local markets combined with lack of transport. discourage farmers from selling their produce. It was concluded that in order to increase food production in the district, a package of measures need to be taken instead of taking isolated measures individually. Two policy areas were drawn from the study. These are policies to increase food product ion through increasing acreage under crop and the policies to increase food production through increasing yield per acre. Policies to increase output, should emphasize the availability of inputs like labour, and the complementary factors and extension services while policies to increase yield per acre should consider the leval of technology and extension services which is related to it. The proper use of fertilizers in quantity and timing is important in realizing increase in yield. Both policies should however ultimately emphasize the existence of a suitable package of incentives for it to be effective. The study concludes that a package of incentives including credit facilities inputs, market outlets, extension services favourable prices and a good infrastructure is necessary for agricultural production to increase in Siaya District.