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The Maize Green Revolution in Kenya Revisited


  • De Groote, Hugo
  • Owuor, George
  • Doss, Cheryl R.
  • Ouma, James Okuro
  • Muhammad, Lutta
  • Danda, Milton Kengo


The maize green revolution, which increased maize yields through the use of improved varieties and fertilizer, has stalled since the mid-eighties in Kenya. This paper examines whether the stagnation of yields continued in the 1990s in spite of the implementation of the maize liberalization policies by the Kenya Government. Analysis of farm level surveys from 1992 and 2002 indicates slight increases in the use of improved maize varieties and fertilizer, but a substantial decrease in the intensity of fertilizer use. The econometric analysis suggests that the intensity of fertilizer use has a major effect on yield. The use of improved maize varieties, however, did not affect yield, suggesting that there are local varieties for some areas that do as well as improved varieties. Research is needed to develop improved varieties for some areas, and also needed for the development of alternative affordable soil fertility measures.

Suggested Citation

  • De Groote, Hugo & Owuor, George & Doss, Cheryl R. & Ouma, James Okuro & Muhammad, Lutta & Danda, Milton Kengo, 2005. "The Maize Green Revolution in Kenya Revisited," eJADE: electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization, Agricultural and Development Economics Division, vol. 2(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ejadef:110143

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pray, Carl E. & Ramaswami, Bharat & Kelley, Timothy, 2001. "The impact of economic reforms on R&D by the Indian seed industry," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 587-598, December.
    2. Anonymous, 2001. "Cimmyt 1999-2000 World Maize Facts And Trends: Meeting World Maize Needs: Technological Opportunities And Priorities For The Public Sector," Facts and Trends/Overview and Outlook 23727, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
    3. Gisselquist, David & Grether, Jean-Marie, 2000. "An Argument for Deregulating the Transfer of Agricultural Technologies to Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 111-127, January.
    4. Tripp, Robert & Rohrbach, David, 2001. "Policies for African seed enterprise development," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 147-161, April.
    5. Freeman, H. Ade & Kaguongo, Wachira, 2003. "Fertilizer market liberalization and private retail trade in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 505-518.
    6. Omamo, Steven Were & Mose, Lawrence O., 2001. "Fertilizer trade under market liberalization: preliminary evidence from Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-10, February.
    7. Muhammad, Lutta & Njoroge, Kiarie & Bett, Charles & Mwangi, Wilfred & Verkuijl, Hugo & De Groote, Hugo, 2003. "The Seed Industry for Dryland Crops in Eastern Kenya," Miscellaneous Reports 56108, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
    8. Eicher, Carl K., 1995. "Zimbabwe's maize-based Green Revolution: Preconditions for replication," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 805-818, May.
    9. Doss, Cheryl R., 2003. "Understanding Farm-Level Technology Adoption: Lessons Learned From Cimmyt'S Micro Surveys In Eastern Africa," Economics Working Papers 46552, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ogada, Maurice & Nyangena, Wilfred, 2015. "Impact of Improved Farm Technologies on Yields: The Case of Improved Maize Varieties and Inorganic Fertilizers in Kenya," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212590, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Simon Chege Kimenju & Hugo De Groote, 2008. "Consumer willingness to pay for genetically modified food in Kenya," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(1), pages 35-46, January.
    3. Jones, Ashley D. & Dalton, Timothy J. & Smale, Melinda, 2012. "A Stochastic Production Function Analysis of Maize Hybrids and Yield Variability in Drought-Prone Areas of Kenya," Working Papers 202593, Egerton University, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development.
    4. Christina Handschuch & Meike Wollni, 2016. "Improved production systems for traditional food crops: the case of finger millet in western Kenya," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(4), pages 783-797, August.
    5. Mathenge, Mary K. & Smale, Melinda & Olwande, John, 2012. "The Impact of Maize Hybrids on Income, Poverty, and Inequality among Smallholder Farmers in Kenya," Food Security International Development Working Papers 146931, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    6. Kathage, Jonas & Qaim, Matin & Kassie, Menale & Shiferaw, Bekele A., 2012. "Seed market liberalization, hybrid maize adoption, and impacts on smallholder farmers in Tanzania," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126231, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Nkonya, Ephraim & Gicheru, Patrick & Woelcke, Johannes & Okoba, Barrack & Kilambya, Daniel & Gachimbi, Louis N., 2008. "On-site and off-Site long-term economic impacts of soil fertility management practices: The case of maize-based cropping systems in Kenya," IFPRI discussion papers 778, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Sally Brooks, 2014. "Enabling adaptation? Lessons from the new ‘Green Revolution’ in Malawi and Kenya," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 15-26, January.
    9. Melinda Smale & John Olwande, 2014. "Demand for maize hybrids and hybrid change on smallholder farms in Kenya," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(4), pages 409-420, July.
    10. Jia, Xiangping, 2009. "Synergistic Green and White Revolution: Evidence from Kenya and Uganda," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51367, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Mathenge, Mary K. & Smale, Melinda & Olwande, John, 2014. "The impacts of hybrid maize seed on the welfare of farming households in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 262-271.

    More about this item


    green revolution; maize; adoption; soil fertility; Kenya; Crop Production/Industries; International Development;

    JEL classification:

    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services


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