Perception of Seasonal Climate Forecast Information among Smallholder Farmers in Semi-Arid Southeastern Kenya: A Case of Voi Sub-County.

Morris M. Mwatu, Charles W. Recha, Janepha K. Kumba


This paper examines the perception of seasonal climate forecast (SCF) information used in agricultural decision-making by smallholder farmers in semi-arid Voi sub-County, Kenya. Questionnaires were administered to a total of 204 respondents randomly selected from farming households in two administrative locations. Questionnaires were used to collect data on farmers’ perception of the quality of SCF. Seasonal climate forecast data for October-November-December (OND) 2015 and daily rainfall data for the same season was also collected. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis and in particular one sample Pearson’s Chi-square was used to establish how smallholder farmers perceived SCF information. Study findings established that smallholder farmers’ perception of seasonal climate forecast information was somewhat good with a significant difference in their perception (P=.000). The study concludes that although OND 2015 SCF was accurate the perception of smallholder farmers was not good enough to positively influence their agricultural decisions. This study recommends enhancement of awareness and increased dissemination of within-season climate forecast so as to improve positive perception of seasonal climate forecast in order to assist farmers make informed decisions so as to increase farm productivity.

Keywords: Perception, Seasonal climate forecast, Semi-arid, Smallholder farmer, Southeastern Kenya

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

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