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Evaluation of the effect of farmers’ experience on optimization of coffee yields in Chuka Sub-County, Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya
David M. Kihoro, Geofrey K. Gathungu, Wainaina Moses G, Wairimu Vicky N
Many farmers in the coffee-growing areas are determined to maintain production despite the challenges associated with the sector. Despite the efforts made by National and County governments to maximize coffee production in terms of quantity and quality, yields have shown a downward trend. The study's objective was to assess the factors affecting farmers’ experience optimizing coffee production in Chuka Sub-County, Kenya. Variables such as the years of coffee farming, the number of trainings attended, and the number of journals read on coffee production were evaluated. Proportional stratified random sampling was used to select a sample of 150 respondents from a population of 7,428 coffee farmers from ten cooperatives in the Chuka Sub-County, where each cooperative was treated as a stratum. The Chi-square test was used to establish an association between the effects of farmers' experience and optimization of coffee yield. The logit model also found the relationship between farmer experience and coffee yield optimization. Farmers' knowledge had a chi-square mean of 60.3%, indicating that it significantly affected coffee optimization. Out of the three factors evaluated, the few numbers of the training attended had a positive association with a chi-square of 36.643. The few years of coffee farming had chi-square values of 33.714, while the number of journals reads had a chi-square value of 24.21. The study also established that the number of years of coffee farming and the training attended positively and significantly affected yield optimization, while the number of articles read negatively and significantly affected optimization. Therefore, the research recommends that coffee farmers practice coffee farming for many years and increase training attendance to optimize coffee production.
Coffee; Farmers Experience; Optimization of Production; Yield