African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6363

Full Length Research Paper

An analysis of socioeconomic factors affecting avocado production in saline and flooded areas around Lake Victoria Basin of Western Kenya

Ouma George
  • Ouma George
  • Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 30197-00100, Kenya.
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George Duncan Odhiambo
  • George Duncan Odhiambo
  • Department of Applied Plant Sciences, P. O. Box 333, Maseno University, Kenya.
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Samuel Wagai
  • Samuel Wagai
  • Department of Botany, Rongo University Private Bag Rongo, Kenya.
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Johnson Kwach
  • Johnson Kwach
  • Faculty of Biological and Physical Sciences, Tom Mboya University Collage Homa bay, Kenya.
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  •  Received: 02 May 2019
  •  Accepted: 08 August 2019
  •  Published: 31 December 2019

Abstract

Avocado (Persia americana) a very important crop worldwide nutritionally and economically. In Kenya avocado does not thrive well in soils with high salinity, flooded or waterlogged areas. Survey was conducted around Lake Victoria Basin in Kenya to establish socioeconomic factors and flooding that affects its production. A sample of 400 households was interviewed using structured questionnaire, focus group discussions and key informants. Data were collected and analysed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists. Objectives were to find how flood, human capital and other socioeconomic factors such as gender, age, farmer education affects avocado production in areas with saline soils and floods among other factors namely Busia, Muhoroni, Nyando and Rachuonyo counties in Kenya. Results indicated that the major impediments were water logging (76.2%), flooding (73.0%), soil fertility (62.5%) and soil salinity (42.9%), to agricultural development and affect the crop production. Farmers had limited access to information on avocado production and marketing 31.3%, and sourced information from fellow farmers. Majority of farmers owned indigenous or non-certified avocado trees; low fruits market prices also discouraged its production. Therefore, farmers should be sensitized on the impacts of climate change on agriculture, encourage majority of them to take samples of their plots for soil analysis. 65.5% expressed soil fertility problems in their farms yet 95.5% of them had not taken their plots for soil analysis. Increasing of human capital, farmer education, and extension services may contribute to farmer’s abilities to adopt new technologies for increased avocado production in these areas and may positively contribute to improved livelihood through nutrition, income generation of the stakeholders. Farmers should be encouraged to plant certified avocado seedlings tolerant to water logging and salinity.

Key words: Avocado, climate change, Lake Victoria, Kenya, strategies.