Socio Economic Factors Influencing Utilization of Seasonal Climate Forecast Among Smallholder Farmers in Semi-Arid Lower Eastern Kenya: A Case of Masinga Sub-County

Gideon Kyalo Masesi, Stephen K. Wambugu, Charles W. Recha


This paper discusses the influence of socio economic factors influencing utilization of Seasonal Climate Forecasts (SCF) by smallholder farmers in semi-arid lower Eastern Kenya in Masinga Sub County. Questionnaires were administered randomly to a total of 274 respondents in four administrative locations namely; Masinga Central Location, Musumaa Location, Musingini Location, and Katulye Location. Data on socioeconomic factors influencing utilization of climate forecast information was collected using questionnaires. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis and in particular, Pearson correlation was used to test the relationship between socioeconomic characteristic and utilization of SCF. Results established that there exist a positive relationship   between gender, age, education level, income, land size and utilization of seasonal climate forecast (p=.007,p=.000,p=.005,p=.000 and p=.003) respectively. The study concludes that socio economic factors cannot be ignored in dissemination of climate forecast information because they significantly affect utility. If these socio economic factors are observed in the entire process of climate forecasts production, and dissemination there is likelihood of increasing utility of climate forecasts by the households hence reaping benefits of forecasts. This study recommends that, socioeconomic factors be considered in the entire process of forecasts access and dissemination in order to reap benefits of the forecasts. This is because these factors have not been sufficiently prioritized as a fundamental instrument to enhance access and utilization of climate forecasts.

Keywords: Lower Eastern Kenya, Perception, Seasonal Climate Forecast, Semi-arid, Smallholder farmers.


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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