Influence of Rainfall Variability on Tomato Production among Small Scale Farmers in Kieni East Sub County, Kenya


  • Joseph M. Karienye Department of Humanities, Karatina University, P. O. Box 1957 - 10101, Karatina, Kenya
  • Gilbert M. Nduru Department of Humanities, Karatina University, P. O. Box 1957 - 10101, Karatina, Kenya
  • Julius M. Huho Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Garissa University College, P. O. Box 1801 - 70100, Garissa, Kenya
  • Francis E. Opiyo Regional Bureau for East and Central Africa, United Nations - World Food Programme (WFP) Nairobi, Kenya



adaptation strategies, rainfall variability, small scale farmers, tomato production.


In Kenya, horticultural farming within the agricultural sector contributes 25 percent to the national Gross Domestic Product and to job creation for the majority of the households. About one third of Kenya’s population live in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands largely depends on rain-fed agriculture as a source of livelihood. The spatial and temporal rainfall variations that characterize these regions is thought have adverse effects on tomato production, with scanty information existing in literature. This study examined the influence of rainfall variability on tomato production among small scale farmers in Kieni East Sub County, Kenya. The study was conducted in four wards of Kieni East Sub County, Kabaru, Thegu River, Narumoru/ Kiamathaga and Gakawa. Cross sectional survey research design was used in this study. Household questionnaire survey and interview was used to collect primary data from a sample of 45 farmers randomly selected and proportionately distributed among the four wards. Specific objectives were to: establish rainfall characteristics between 1981 and 2014 and establish farmers’ adaptation strategies to rainfall variability on tomato production in the study area. Rainfall data was obtained from Kenya Meteorological Department in Nairobi. Data on farmer’s adapatation strategies was obtained from the farmers in Kieni East Sub County. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics, frequencies, percentages, means, and tables with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 20.0. The study benefited the Ministry of Agriculture, farmers and policy implementers in improving tomato production in areas that are characterized by varying rainfall patterns.


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