The objective of this study was to evaluate the key challenges facing
potato production in Oljoro-Orok division. Primary data were obtained from randomly
selected farmers through questionnaires. Purposive sampling was used to select
300 farmers in the division. Proportionate sampling was used to select the
sample of farmers in each of the four locations. The data collected were
analyzed using descriptive statistics namely frequencies, percentages and means
with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 17.0
and a SWOT matrix computed. Rainfall variations, lack of clean seeds and crop
diseases have been found to be the major challenges facing potato production in
the division. 45% of the respondents see rainfall variation as the main cause
of decreased potato yields, 33% lack of clean seeds and 6% crop diseases. The
study found that farmers use crop diversification and off season approaches to
adapt to rainfall variability. The study recommends adaptation measure to be
applied to cope with rainfall variation. Such measures include irrigation using
water available in Jacob, Terracin and Kivindo dams during dry spelt. A lot of
emphases on the use of certified seeds should be done by the agriculture field
officers to caution farmers from planting the same potatoes they harvested in
the previous harvest.
Obare, G., Nyagaka, D., Nguyo, W. and Mwakubo, S. (2010) Are Kenyan Smallholders Allocatively Efficient? Evidence from Irish Potato Producers in Nyandarua North District, Egerton University Found, Egerton.
Kaguongo, W., Gildemacher, P., Demo, P., Wagoire, W., Kinyua, P., Andrade, J., Forbes, G., Thiele, G. and Fugile, K. (2007) Farmers Practices and Adoption of Improved Potato Varieties in Kenya and Uganda. Maastridit School of Management.
Olanya, O., Lunjaho C., Nderitu. S., Kabura, J., El-Bedewy, R. and Waling, A. (2006) Yield Performance and Release of Four Late Blight Tolerant Potato Varieties in Kenya. Journal of Agronomy, 5, 57-61.