Factors affecting the approbation of hydroponics farming as a means to mitigate and adapt to climate change amongst small scale farmers : a case study of Meru County, Kenya
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The conventional soil based agriculture is one of the areas that have been adversely affected by the effects of climate change in the recent past. To cushion themselves against the challenges, farmers across the world are increasingly embracing hydroponics farming. This study builds on this background to explore the factors that influence the approbation of hydroponics farming in Meru County, Kenya. Kenya’s agricultural sector is dominated by small scale farmers, hence the focus of the study to this cadre. Specifically, the study aimed at investigating the different actors involved in hydroponics farming and their impact on the adoption of the hydroponics system. The paper also investigated if the production costs and the access to capital to cater for such costs attract or constrain the farmers from adopting the hydroponics system. Additionally, the study evaluated if the economic returns, the crop yields and the access to market influence the farmers choice of crop to produce and the overall decision of whether or not to adopt hydroponics farming. It also sought to determine the challenges, opportunities and constraints that farmers meet in their adoption or development of hydroponics growing systems in the area. Finally, the paper assesses the extent to which access to water affects the adoption of hydroponics farming in Meru County, Kenya.