The Impact of Rural Access Roads Programme on Agricultural Development: A Case Study of Olkalou Division, Nyandarua District

This study was set to examine the role of rural transportation in agricultural development.  The focus however, has been on the Rural Access Roads Programme, its impact on agricultural development and the extent to which it has alleviated transportation problems in Ol Kalou Division of Nyandarua District.

The significance of this study was prompted by the fact that Ol-Kalou Division is a high agricultural potential area, which is not fully tapped partly due to the inadequacy of the transport network. Moreover, farmers in the Division are engaged in dairy and horticultural farming, the products of which are highly perishable and thus, require quick transport to the relevant markets.  Among other things, the Rural Access Roads Programme is expected to stimulate agricultural production and bring more people to the market economy through the provision of all-weather access to markets and small urban centers.  Furthermore, it is hoped that the Programme will raise the level of rural employment and improve access to social facilities and services.

The study has identified and discussed the major problems facing the Rural Access Roads Programme and maintenance of the road projects.  Further, the findings of the study show that the Programme has made significant contributions on agricultural development in the area in terms of improved marketing of farm produce, increased farm incomes, land values and the general level of employment.

The study has emphasized the fact that although the construction of rural access roads may be necessary for the improvement of agricultural production, however, the access roads per se may not constitute a sufficient condition for agricultural development. The latter could be expected to respond positively from rural access roads provided other complementary factors are present.  Finally, the study has made recommendations on how to improve transportation problems of the study area by addressing the constraints that face the Rural Access Roads Programme.

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