Factors Influencing Profitability of Diversified Cash Crop Farming among Smallholder Tea Farmers in Gatanga District, Kenya

Mwangi J. Kanyua, Gicuru K. Ithinji, Sibiko K. Waluse, Wanjiru R. Wairimu


Small-scale farming account for about 75% and 55% of total agricultural production and marketed output respectively in Kenya. Cash crop farming is the main occupation of a majority of the farmers in central Kenya. However, with continued decline in the prices of traditional cash crops, horticultural crops have become an integral part of smallholder farms as a strategy to enhance farm incomes. It’s, however, not well documented as to whether this cash crop multiplicity has helped improve the economic welfare of these peasant farmers. The study aimed at determining whether diversified cash crop farming is more profitable than specialization in tea farming and also identify the factors influencing this profitability. The study revealed that diversified cash crop farming is at least 63% more profitable than specialization in tea farming.  Gender, farming experience, farm tools, farm size, credit, hired labour and the fertilizer and manure applied are the significant determinants.

Keywords: profitability, smallholder, tea, horticulture, diversification, cash crops

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

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