TECHNICAL EFFICIENCY DIFFERENTIALS BETWEEN CONVENTIONAL AND SYSTEM-OF-RICE INTENSIFICATION METHODS OF RICE PRODUCTION IN WEST KANO IRRIGATION SCHEME, KENYA
Rice in the irrigation schemes of Kenya is grown under the conventional method of continuous flooding which leads to production inefficiencies. With the limited resources such as land and capital inputs there is need for a better production method that improves rice productivity. System-of-Rice Intensification method (SRI) has been proposed as a solution. However, there is need for a study to establish the differentials in technical efficiency between conventional and SRI methods of rice production for better decisionmaking. This study was done at West Kano rice scheme of Western Kenya, and involved a sample of 123 households and the experimental SRI method. Study results show that 89% of the households in the study area are farmers who depend on rice production for consumption and commercial purposes. Findings also indicated that the SRI system saved about 64% of water compared to the conventional paddy system. The Conventional method used 95% chemicals (inorganic fertilizers), compared to SRI method that used 5%, hence using lesser chemicals by 90%. The study also showed that SRI method had a relatively higher level of mean technical efficiency at 83% compared to the conventional method at 75%, indicating a significant difference of 8% between the two methods of rice production. These findings further show that SRI under wide crop spacing of 25cm by 25cm and younger seedlings of 8 to 12 days method is more efficient than the Conventional method with random planting at closer spacing and older seedling age in rice production. Further, results demonstrate that the method of rice production is the major significant determinant of technical efficiency. This implies that the adoption of SRI with spacing of 25cm by 25cm is critical to the achievement of efficiency in rice production in West Kano. This means farmers should be encouraged to adopt the new SRI method with wider spacing of 25cm by 25cm and transplanting young seedlings of 8 to 12 days. It is recommended that due to reduced water levels in the riverine systems, the National Irrigation Board should assist farmers understand the technical efficiency of SRI method for improved yields and better livelihoods. This can be done through promotion of Farmers Field Schools for faster adoption of the method.
- THESIS - Technical Efficiency ...