Ex-Ante Economic Assessment of Legume-Cereal Crop Sequencing Technology in Nakuru District, Kenya
AbstractCrop rotations involving legumes and cereals are beneficial to the overall soil-crop environment, but profitability varies spatially. The current study is an ex-ante assessment of the economic viability of a legume-cereal crop sequencing technology in Rongai Division of Kenya's Nakuru district. Input and yield data for screening of legume-cereal technologies were obtained from the Egerton University Wheat/Chickpea Project on agronomic viability of the crop rotations. Farm-level data were obtained from a random sample of 30 respondents selected through multi-stage sampling procedure. Gross margin analysis was used to evaluate the profitability of production activities. Linear programming models were used to optimize existing activities and those from legume-cereal agronomic trials. The models for current farm enterprises show working capital and labour in March as major constraints to improved farm income whilst the other labour resources as slack. Legume-cereal double cropping was shown to contribute substantially to smallholder farm income. The study concludes that the sequencing of maize with chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and garden pea (Pisum sativum L.) is economically viable. In addition, the coupling of agricultural credit to technologies is a good strategy for smallholder agricultural development.
Key words: Ex-ante adoption, legume-cereal sequencing, linear programming, technology
Eastern African Journal of Rural Development Vol.20(1) 2004: 24-33