This study sought to establish the influence of utilization of extension services on performance of hybrid sweet potato projects in Kenya: A case of Njoro Sub-County, Nakuru County. The study was grounded on the theory of collective action. The philosophical underpinning of this study was pragmatism where a mixed method approach was used in a descriptive survey study design. The target population of this study was a sample of respondents from the three strata of 951 respondents; namely 909 farmers in hybrid sweet potato projects in Njoro Sub-County, 36 extension service providers in Njoro Sub-County and 6 plant breeders at Kenya Agricultural Research Organization at Njoro. The sample size was determined using Slovin’s formula. To sample the target population, cluster sampling technique was used that divided the main population into three sections (clusters) where samples were put into a sampling frame. Simple random technique was used to draw samples independently from each stratum. The sample size of this study was 282 respondents comprising of 264 hybrid sweet potato farmers, 12 extension service providers and 6 plant breeders. Data collection instruments included self-administered questionnaires and structured interview guide. A pilot test was conducted to test and enhance the validity and reliability of the research instruments. Qualitative data were analyzed by the use of thematic analysis and the results were presented in prose form. Descriptive data were analyzed by using frequencies and percentages and presented in a table. Both the arithmetic mean and standard deviation were used as statistical tools to measure central tendency and dispersion, respectively, while the statistical tools for inferential analysis was Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation. Regression analysis was used to test the strength of these relationships and F-test to study the hypotheses. The study found that there is a significant relationship between utilization of extension services and performance of hybrid sweet potato projects in Njoro Sub-County. This study recommends a holistic approach to include establishment of more commodity interest groups, farmer field schools and a more emphasis on training and visit by bringing more front-line extension service providers on board. On extension schedules; this study recommends that extension schedules be more improved by increasing the monthly and quarterly visits as this promotes more interaction and learning between the extension service providers and the farmers.
Keywords: Utilization of Extension Services, Project Performance, Hybrid, Sweet Potato