Important Variables Influencing Milk Yields on Smallholder Farms in Western Kenya


  • Simon P. O. Wanjala Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization and Kenyatta University
  • Bernard K. Njehia
  • Festus M. Murithi


smallholder farms, milk yields, important variables, pair-wise ranking, beta weights, product measure, multiple linear regression


This study sought to assess the most important variables influencing milk yields on smallholder farms in Western Kenya, a region with persistent milk insufficiency. Four approaches were assessed on ranking of important variables: Use of farmer focus groups, key informant interviews (pair-wise ranking of variables), beta weights and Product measure (multiple linear regression). The findings showed that all the four methods produced different ranking order. Using a combined weighting system, the most important variables influencing milk yields on smallholder farms were found to be fodder; dairy meal, credit, Artificial insemination, improved research technologies, group membership, policy and economic returns. Collectively, they explained 63.9% of the variance in milk yields in the area (F8, 291= 65.089, p<0.001).We argue that a combined weighting approach appears to be a sharper ranking method in selecting important variables from many components in a value chain system.

Author Biography

Simon P. O. Wanjala, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization and Kenyatta University

Research Scientist, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

PhD Fellow, Agribusiness Management Kenyatta University


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How to Cite

Wanjala, S. P. O., Njehia, B. K., & Murithi, F. M. (2015). Important Variables Influencing Milk Yields on Smallholder Farms in Western Kenya. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences, 3(1). Retrieved from