Beekeeping technology adoption in arid and semi-arid lands of southern Kenya
This study was conducted in Kibwezi Sub-County, south eastern Kenya. This is a typical semiarid area and beekeeping is a major economic activity. Although various beekeeping technologies have been available in the study area for many decades, information on the effect of these technologies on the production levels of hive products and on the farmers’ social and economic conditions has been lacking.
This study was undertaken to establish the factors that determine the adoption of various beekeeping technologies and the impacts of these technologies on the production of hive products. Data were collected through formal interviews using a structured questionnaire. Systematic random sampling was applied to select a sample size of 170 households. Results indicated that 90 out of 170 respondents, representing 52.9% were beekeepers. Of the adopters, 75.6% were found to be using traditional technology while the rest were using modern technology. Descriptive analysis revealed that the major factors that determine the choice of beekeeping technology include the cost, availability and capacity to implement a management regime of a particular type of technology. Analysis using a binary logistic model indicated that the gender of a household head, size of a household, size of land holding, size of a herd and access to extension services significantly influenced the adoption of beekeeping technology. Application of the Cobb-Douglas production function suggested that variable capital items, labour and managerial skills have a significant contribution to output. Recurrent droughts, pests, vandalism, deforestation and inadequate extension services were found to be the main constraints to the adoption of beekeeping technology. The study therefore recommends the provision of more focused extension packages to impart the necessary skills on bee management. The capacity of the existing farmer groups and associations involved in beekeeping activities should also be strengthened in an effort to enhance productivity
Key words: Adoption, beekeeping, technology, productivity, semi-arid