Joseph Kiprono Rotich, Prof. Mark Odhiambo & Dr. Vincent Ngeno
Tea is a major economic activity in Kenya. However, its contributions in eradicating poverty has not been studied and documented, especially on small-scale tea farmers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of farming household characteristics on poverty levels among tea farmers in Konoin sub-County. The objectives of the study were to determine the effect of family size, age, gender of household head and number of labour units engaged on poverty levels among tea farmers. To achieve the purpose of the study, the hypothesis tested was: farm household characteristics (family size, age gender of household head, number of labour units engaged) have a significant effect on poverty levels among tea farmers. The sample that took part in the study was 380, selected from a target population of approximately 36,000 small-scale tea farming households. The sample was selected proportionately from 12 tea catchment areas. Generalized Linear Model (GLM) and censored Tobit regression models were used to analyze data. The household characteristics; household size, gender of the household’s head, labour units engaged, age and dependency ratio were found to significantly influence the income levels of the households. Family size was found to be significant in predicting the poverty levels of tea farming households, while the age of the household head and dependency ratio significantly influence both poverty gap and depth of the households. As a recommendation, interventions targeting on family size closely linked to dependency ratio and the age of the households should more inform policy formulation targeting poverty reduction among small-scale tea farming households.