Seasonal Rainfall Variability Effects on Smallholder Farmers’ Maize Yields in Kieni East Sub-County, Nyeri County, Kenya
Keywords:Seasonality, Rainfall Variability, Smallholder Farmers, Maize Yields.
AbstractAgricultural production in Kenya is rainfall dependent, thus rainfall variability affects crop productivity. This paper analyzes seasonal rainfall variability effects on smallholder farmers’ maize yields in Kieni East sub-County between years 2009-2018. Rainfall data was collected from existing meteorological stations in the study area while maize yields data was obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Nyeri County. Data analysis entailed use of trend analysis and Karl Pearson correlation at 1% levels of significance. Results of the study showed a decline in the annual maize yields in tons as indicated by a negative gradient of -231.9. During both the long and short rains there was also a decline in maize yields with a negative gradient of -69.19 and -162.71 respectively. The study concluded that at 1% levels of significance there was a strong positive correlation between rainfall and maize yields in the study area. It is recommended that the research findings be used to formulate policies that focus on rainfall variability and its effects on smallholder maize farming so as to improve the yields.
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