Farmers’ Knowledge, Attitude and Practice towards African Indigenous Vegetables in Kenya

Food and nutrition insecurity has been a major challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). With land frontier closing, farmers in SSA must intensify and diversify food production to alleviate food and nutrition insecurity. In the face of climate change, African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) can offer opportunities to diversify production systems and improve food, nutrition and income security in many countries of SSA. Despite their potential, the importance of AIVs in alleviating food, nutrition and economic insecurity are not fully exploited in Kenya. Further until recently there is less research and development efforts and limited information on farmers’ knowledge, attitude and perceptions about AIVs. The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice among AIVs farmers in three counties (Busia, Nyamira and Machakos) of Kenya and analyzed the critical factors influencing KAP. The study was carried out on 600 farm households. The formula by Cochran was used to estimate the sample size. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select counties, villages and smallholder AIVs growers. Counties were selected purposively based on their different agro-ecological characteristics. These counties are; Nyamira (the Agro-Alpine Zone), Busia (the Medium Potential zone) and Machakos (the Semi-Arid zone). Villages were randomly selected from these three counties. Lists of AIVs farmers were prepared with assistance of village leaders and farmers randomly selected for interview. Farmers were interviewed on their farms. Knowledge and attitude were assessed on a 3 and 5 point Likert scale, respectively while closed and openended questions were used to evaluate the practice. Data analysis was performed using the statistical package STATA version 12. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and multinomial logit (MNL) regression. The study revealed that the respondents know the value and benefits of African Indigenous Vegetables but this knowledge still needs to be improved so as to impact on best farming practices. Besides, their attitude towards AIVs is positive. Despite the good knowledge and positive attitude, majority of farmers are using traditional method of farming. There is a need to ensuring access to technologies and providing information and training in order to change current indigenous vegetable production methods. The MNL regression analysis showed that as expected, most socio-demographic variables and farm characteristics like gender, education, profession, years of experience in farming, land tenure and total land owned by farmers had significant positive effect on farmers’ KAP. These findings should be considered during research development and promotion of AIVs.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
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Printed resource
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