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Effects of Population Density on Smallholder Agricultural Production and Commercialization in Rural Kenya

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  • Muyanga, Milu
  • Jayne, Thomas S.

Abstract

This study analyzes the implications of increasing population density in Kenya’s rural areas on smallholder production and commercialization. Using data from five panel surveys on 1,146 small-scale farms over the 1997-2010 period, we use econometric techniques to determine how increasing rural population density is affecting farm household behavior and its implication to smallholder commercialization. We find that farm productivity and incomes tend to rise with population density up to 600-650 persons per km2; beyond this threshold, rising population density is associated with sharp declines in farm productivity. Currently 14% of Kenya’s rural population resides in areas exceeding this population density. The study concludes by exploring the nature of institutional and policy reforms needed to address these development problems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington with number 124993.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124993

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Keywords: Land; population density; smallholder agriculture; food security; policy; Kenya; Community/Rural/Urban Development; International Relations/Trade; Production Economics;

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  1. Jayne, T. S. & Yamano, Takashi & Weber, Michael T. & Tschirley, David & Benfica, Rui & Chapoto, Antony & Zulu, Ballard, 2003. "Smallholder income and land distribution in Africa: implications for poverty reduction strategies," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 253-275, June.
  2. Binswanger, Hans & Pingali, Prabhu, 1988. "Technological Priorities for Farming in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 3(1), pages 81-98, January.
  3. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2001. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232197, December.
  4. Woodhouse, Philip, 2003. "African Enclosures: A Default Mode of Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1705-1720, October.
  5. Jayne, Thomas S. & Zulu, Ballard & Kajoba, Gear & Weber, Michael T., 2008. "Access to Land, and Poverty Reduction in Rural Zambia: Connecting the Policy Issues," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54493, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  6. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  7. Klaus Deininger & Derek Byerlee & Jonathan Lindsay & Andrew Norton & Harris Selod & Mercedes Stickler, 2011. "Rising Global Interest in Farmland : Can it Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2263, October.
  8. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  9. Binswanger, Hans P & McIntire, John, 1987. "Behavioral and Material Determinants of Production Relations in Land-Abundant Tropical Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 73-99, October.
  10. Michael Carter & Christopher Barrett, 2006. "The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: An asset-based approach," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 178-199.
  11. Barrett, Christopher B., 2008. "Smallholder market participation: Concepts and evidence from eastern and southern Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 299-317, August.
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