Accepted 21st May, 2014
Kenya is a middle income economy where agriculture plays a fundamental role in economic growth and development. Over 70 percent of population depends on agriculture as the main source of livelihood, a majority of who live below the poverty line. Besides, problems of inherent climate change and market price fluctuations continue to worsen their welfare. In the phase of these inevitable challenges, financing farmers has been one of the major concerns of agricultural development efforts in the country. In an effort to cushion against these challenges, farmer groups have evolved over the years with the sole objective of enhancing farmers’ welfare. However, despite the availability of various development groups, limited empirical information exists on the factors affecting participation in such groups. Primary data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire among 300 respondents. The study employed a binary probit model in the analysis. The core findings of the study were that accessibility to credit; household incomes as well as gender of the household were the main factors affecting farmer participation. The study gives policy insights on the key areas of intervention in ensuring that farmer development groups are given capacity to serve the needs and constraints facing farmers on the ground.
Keywords: Farmers, participation, development groups, probit model, Kenya