|Published online: November 22, 2014||$US5.00|
Abstract: Soybeans are an important global crop in providing oil and protein. Efforts have been made by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) through funded activities in Bungoma, Kakamega, and Busia to promote the production and use of soybeans. Despite these efforts, soybeans are not being produced and used widely in Western Kenya. This paper presents findings from a survey on perceptions and challenges faced in the production and use of soybeans. Using the cross-sectional study design, data was collected by interview schedules from a random sample of 480 respondents in Bungoma, Teso and Siaya districts. From the Agricultural Officers and workers, there was a problem of getting a viable seed as the bean expired within three months. Lack of a national outlook regarding the soybean, and the institutionalization of the same, adversely affected its production. The results also showed that the poverty levels affected purchasing power and provision of foods to households. The majority of the households used their little parcels of land for the cultivation of a variety of crops and for the rearing of animals. A few households produced soybeans, but in very little quantities. The challenges they faced included poor yields, unfavourable weather, lack of a market, lack of knowledge on cultivation, storage and utilization, pest infestations, and high cost of the seed. On the whole, the respondents had the following perceptions regarding soybeans: yields are poor, they were difficult to grow and store, they take too long to cook, they are expensive, there was no market for soybeans, soybeans can be a good cash crop, and they are very important in feeding children.
|Keywords:||Perceptions, Soybeans, Utilization, Western Kenya|
Lecturer, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Chepkoilel University College, Eldoret, Kenya
Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences, Chepkoilel University College, Kenya
Senior Lecturer, Family and Consumer Sciences, Chepkoilel University College, Kenya
Associate Professor, Adult Health Nursing, College of Nursing, Prairie View A&M University, Houston, TX, USA