African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848

Full Length Research Paper

Effects of recommended improved crop technologies and socio-economic factors on coffee profitability among smallholder farmers in Embu County, Kenya

Daniel M. Wambua
  • Daniel M. Wambua
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, School of Agriculture, University of Embu, P. O. Box 6-60100, Kenya.
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Samuel N. Ndirangu
  • Samuel N. Ndirangu
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, School of Agriculture, University of Embu, P. O. Box 6-60100, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Lucy K. Njeru
  • Lucy K. Njeru
  • Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nairobi. P. O. Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Bernard M. Gichimu
  • Bernard M. Gichimu
  • Department of Agricultural Resource Management, School of Agriculture, University of Embu, P.O. Box 6-60100, Embu, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 07 October 2019
  •  Accepted: 28 October 2019
  •  Published: 30 November 2019


This study was carried out to determine the combined effects of recommended production technologies and farmer characteristics on coffee profitability at the farm level in Embu County, Kenya, using the profit function approach. Data were collected using semi structured questionnaires from a sample of 376 farmers who were randomly selected from six cooperative societies, using multistage stratified and probability proportional to size sampling techniques. Primary data on level of adoption of production technologies, level of usage of farm inputs, factor prices, coffee output and farmer demographics were collected. The data were entered in Excel sheets for initial analysis and tabulation then coded for primary analysis of the combined effect using the Profit function model. The results revealed that adoption of the recommended coffee varieties and rate of manure application were positive and significant in affecting coffee profitability at 5% level of significance. However, capping of coffee stems (bearing heads) had a significant negative effect on coffee profitability. Other factors that were found to have a significant negative influence on coffee profitability were the price of manure and foliar fertilizer. Surprisingly, increasing the wage rate had a significant positive influence on coffee profitability. These results portrayed that there is potential of increasing coffee profitability in the study area through adoption of the improved coffee varieties and recommended rates of manure as well as stabilizing factor prices of key inputs. In addition, paying a higher wage rate would act as an incentive and motivation for increased productivity hence increased coffee net returns.

Key words: Input, coffee variety, manure rate, capping, marginal product, marginal value product, Profit function.