Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A Farm Gate-to-Consumer Value Chain Analysis of Kenya’s Maize Marketing System


Author Info

  • Kirimi, Lilian
  • Sitko, Nicholas J.
  • Jayne, Thomas S.
  • Karin, Francis
  • Muyanga, Milu
  • Sheahan, Megan
  • Flock, James
  • Bor, Gilbert


Based on the findings of this study, the following actions are proposed for consideration by the Government of Kenya: 1. Raise public investment in maize seed breeding and agronomic research to make it possible for improvements in smallholder crop productivity. Based on research evaluating the returns to alternative investments in agriculture, public expenditures in maize seed breeding and agronomy may constitute the single most important investment to promote broad-based productivity growth and poverty reduction in Kenya. 2. Explore options for improving public and private extension programs to enable farmers to adopt improved farm technologies generated from point 1. 3. Examine options for bringing more land in Kenya under potential cultivation by smallholder farmers. Unless the land constraints in currently densely populated rural areas of Kenya are relieved, it is unlikely that a large portion of farmers in Kenya that own less than one hectare will be able to rise out of the semi-subsistence conditions that keep them trapped in poverty. 4. Support training programs to enable smallholders to develop more effective marketing strategies and to negotiate more effectively with traders, in order to raise the prices that they receive for their maize. 5. Raise public investment in road, rail, and port infrastructure to reduce marketing costs as well as the cost of modern inputs such as fertilizer to the farm gate. Rehabilitating the Kenyan railway system would be a key priority. If this were done prior to 2009, maize imports could have arrived in greater volumes much faster in early 2009 and pushed food prices down faster. 6. When early warning estimates predict a need for large import quantities, remove the import tariff soon enough to allow traders to import over a sufficiently long period to avoid transport capacity constraints and domestic stockouts. 7. Review the rationale for denying import licenses when applied for by traders. 8. Consider the costs and benefits from the standpoint of governments of transitioning from discretionary trade and marketing policy to adherence to more systematic rules-based policies. Nurturing credible commitment in regard to trade policy is likely to promote market predictability and therefore, lead to greater supplies and price stability in food markets during times of domestic production shortfalls. 9. Consider whether current proposals for international stockholding would be effective in the presence of domestic transport capacity constraints. International physical or financial reserves would not be able to relieve localized food production shortfalls unless local transport capacity is adequate to absorb sufficient imports within a concentrated period or unless import licenses are provided or the state carries out or contracts for the importation from the international stock source.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Food Security International Development Working Papers with number 101172.

as in new window
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:midiwp:101172

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, 446 West Circle Dr., Rm 202, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
Phone: (517) 355-4563
Fax: (517) 432-1800
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Kenya; maize; marketing; food security; Agricultural and Food Policy; Food Security and Poverty;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Jayne, T. S. & Argwings-Kodhek, Gem, 1997. "Consumer response to maize market liberalization in urban Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 447-458, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Smale, Melinda & Olwande, John, 2011. "Is Older Better? Maize Hybrid Change on Household Farms in Kenya," Food Security International Development Working Papers, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics 118474, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  2. Sitko, Nicholas J. & Jayne, T.S., 2014. "Exploitative Briefcase Businessmen, Parasites, and Other Myths and Legends: Assembly Traders and the Performance of Maize Markets in Eastern and Southern Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 56-67.
  3. Mohajan, Haradhan, 2014. "Food and Nutrition Scenario of Kenya," MPRA Paper 56218, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 May 2014.
  4. Hoffmann, Vivian & Gatobu, Ken Mwithirwa, 2014. "Growing their own: Unobservable quality and the value of self-provisioning," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 168-178.
  5. Mather, David & Boughton, Duncan & Jayne, Thomas S., 2011. "Smallholder Heterogeneity and Maize Market Participation in Southern and Eastern Africa: Implications for Investment Strategies to Increase Marketed Food Staple Supply," Food Security International Development Working Papers, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics 118473, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  6. Mather, David & Boughton, Duncan & Jayne, T.S., 2013. "Explaining smallholder maize marketing in southern and eastern Africa: The roles of market access, technology and household resource endowments," Food Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 248-266.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:midiwp:101172. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.