Shellmith Mugo (shellmugo@yahoo.co.uk)
Economics, Moi University
October, 2013
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MA Economics, Moi University
BA Economics, University of Nairobi


Banana occupies a distinct place in the national as well as in the household economy of Kenya. This study was to establish the factors affecting production of tissue culture bananas and whether incomes of tissue culture banana growers were significantly different from those growing conventional bananas. The specific objectives of the study were to determine the relationship between factors of production (extension services, inputs, manure and land size) and output per acre. This research put to light the differences between tissue culture bananas and non-tissue culture bananas in terms of yields and income generated. The null hypotheses of the study were firstly that none of the factors of production had an effect on output and secondly that tissue culture bananas had no impact on households income. The target population was 4,200 farmers who had benefited from the Southern Nyanza Community Development Project (SNCDP) in Nyamusi division of Nyamira North district. The sample was 366 households comprising of two strata, those who produced tissue culture bananas and those who produced conventional bananas. A systematic sampling procedure was used to get the sample farmers in the two strata that were interviewed. The researcher employed the following tools for data collection: questionnaires, interviews and document analysis. Data collected was both primary and secondary data which was cross-sectional. SPSS and excel were used to analyze data. A Cobb-Douglas production function was used where the quantity of banana produce was regressed against factors of production and household characteristics (age, education and gender). Estimated coefficients (elasticities) were tested for level of significance in determining production. T-tests of means of income were used to assess the differences in incomes of the two groups of households, those who produced tissue culture bananas and those who produced conventional bananas. The study revealed that tissue culture banana growers had relatively higher incomes compared to conventional banana growers. The results found land size under tissue culture bananas, manure applied, extension services and age of household head to be significant determinants of production with elasticities of 1.861, 0.0716, 0.017 and 0.341 respectively. Gender and level of education of household head had no effect. Poverty Eradication Commission, Ministry of Devolution and Planning and SNCDPs Project Management Unit need to understand the importance of tissue culture bananas in improving incomes of smallholder farmers thus reduction of poverty. More extension officers should be employed and extension visits intensified. The Government should subsidize tissue culture banana plantlets to ensure its affordability.