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Demand for maize hybrids and hybrid change on smallholder farms in Kenya

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  • Melinda Smale
  • John Olwande

Abstract

Kenya is a globally recognized maize “success story.” As the overall percentage of maize farmers growing hybrids tops 80% and the seed industry matures, the slow pace of hybrid replacement on farms, and the continued dominance of the seed industry by Kenya Seed Company, may dampen productivity. Our econometric analysis identifies the factors that explain farmer demand for hybrid seed, and the age of hybrids they grow, considering hybrid seed ownership. Male-headed households with more education, more assets, and more land plant more hybrid seed. Scale of seed demand per farm is differentiated by agroecology. We find a strong farmer response to the seed-to-grain price ratio, which we interpret as evidence of a commercial orientation even on household farms. However, despite the dramatic increase in the number of hybrids sold and the breadth of seed suppliers as seed markets liberalize, an older hybrid still dominates national demand.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:45:y:2014:i:4:p:409-420
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/agec.12095
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Linda Steinhübel, 2018. "Somewhere in between towns, markets, and neighbors – Agricultural transition in the rural-urban interface of Bangalore, India," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 256, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    2. Steinhubel, L., 2018. "Somewhere in between towns, markets, and neighbors Agricultural transition in the rural-urban interface of Bangalore, India," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277430, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. repec:bla:agecon:v:49:y:2018:i:1:p:131-143 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Tsedeke Abate & Bekele Shiferaw & Abebe Menkir & Dagne Wegary & Yilma Kebede & Kindie Tesfaye & Menale Kassie & Gezahegn Bogale & Berhanu Tadesse & Tolera Keno, 2015. "Factors that transformed maize productivity in Ethiopia," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 7(5), pages 965-981, October.
    5. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s12571-018-0825-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Spielman, David J. & Smale, Melinda, 2017. "Policy options to accelerate variety change among smallholder farmers in South Asia and Africa South of the Sahara," IFPRI discussion papers 1666, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Priscilla Wainaina & Songporne Tongruksawattana & Matin Qaim, 2016. "Tradeoffs and complementarities in the adoption of improved seeds, fertilizer, and natural resource management technologies in Kenya," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 47(3), pages 351-362, May.
    8. repec:bla:agecon:v:49:y:2018:i:4:p:423-434 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Stephen P. D’Alessandro & Jorge Caballero & John Lichte & Simon Simpkin, 2015. "Kenya," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23350, The World Bank.
    10. Naseem, A. & Nagarajan, L. & Pray, C., 2018. "The role of maize varietal development on yields in Kenya," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277321, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Smale, Melinda & Moursi, Mourad & Birol, Ekin, 2015. "How does adopting hybrid maize affect dietary diversity on family farms? Micro-evidence from Zambia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 44-53.
    12. Wainaina, Priscilla & Tongruksawattana, Songporne & Qaim, Matin, 2014. "Tradeoffs and Complementarities in the Adoption of Improved Seeds, Fertilizer, and Natural Resource Management Technologies in Kenya," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 189914, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    13. Waldman, Kurt B. & Ortega, David L. & Richardson, Robert B. & Snapp, Sieglinde S., 2017. "Estimating demand for perennial pigeon pea in Malawi using choice experiments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 222-230.

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