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State-conditional Fertilizer Yield Response on Western Kenyan Farms

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  • Paswel P. Marenya
  • Christopher B. Barrett

Abstract

Fertilizer interventions have attained prominence in rural poverty reduction programs in Africa. Using data from maize plots operated by small farmers in western Kenya, we find a von Liebig-type relationship between soil organic matter (SOM) and maize yield response to nitrogen application. Low SOM commonly limits the yield response to mineral fertilizer application. Although fertilizer is, on average, profitable in our sample, on roughly one-third of the plots degraded soils limit the marginal productivity of fertilizer such that it becomes unprofitable at prevailing prices. Moreover, because poorer farmers most commonly cultivate soils deficient in SOM, fertilizer interventions might be less pro-poor than is widely assumed and may instead reinforce ex ante income inequality. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 91 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 991-1006

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:91:y:2009:i:4:p:991-1006

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Cited by:
  1. Larson, Donald F. & Gurara, Daniel Zerfu, 2013. "A conceptual model of incomplete markets and the consequences for technology adoption policies in Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6681, The World Bank.
  2. Nkonya, Ephraim & Place, Frank & Pender, John & Mwanjololo, Majaliwa & Okhimamhe, Appollonia & Kato, Edward & Crespo, Susana & Ndjeunga, Jupiter & Traore, Sibiry, 2011. "Climate risk management through sustainable land management in Sub-Saharan Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 1126, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. World Bank, 2010. "Sub-Saharan Africa - Managing Land in a Changing Climate : An Operational Perspective for Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2874, The World Bank.
  4. Dethier, Jean-Jacques & Effenberger, Alexandra, 2012. "Agriculture and development: A brief review of the literature," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 175-205.
  5. Sheahan, Megan & Black, Roy & Jayne, T.S., 2013. "Are Kenyan farmers under-utilizing fertilizer? Implications for input intensification strategies and research," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 39-52.
  6. Vondolia, Godwin Kofi & Eggert, Håkan & Stage, Jesper, . "Nudging Boserup? The Impact of Fertilizer Subsidies on Investment in Soil and Water Conservation," Discussion Papers dp-12-08-efd, Resources For the Future.
  7. Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob & Jayne, Thomas S., 2012. "Do Fertilizer Subsidies Boost Staple Crop Production and Reduce Poverty Across the Distribution of Smallholders in Africa? Quantile Regression Results from Malawi," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126742, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  8. Yamano, Takashi & Kijima, Yoko, 2010. "The associations of soil fertility and market access with household income: Evidence from rural Uganda," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 51-59, February.
  9. Sheahan, Megan & Black, Roy & Jayne, Thomas S., 2012. "Are Farmers Under-Utilizing Fertilizer? Evidence from Kenya," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126739, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  10. Sheahan, Megan & Black, Roy & Jayne, Thomas S., 2012. "What is the Scope for Increased Fertilizer Use in Kenya?," Food Security International Development Working Papers 135283, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

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