Are Kenyan farmers under-utilizing fertilizer? Implications for input intensification strategies and research
It is widely perceived that African farmers are under-utilizing inorganic fertilizer. However, very little long-term evidence from farmers’ fields, accounting for variations in agro-ecological conditions, has been assembled to back this claim or determine the conditions under which it is true. Using five waves of nationwide household survey data from Kenya covering 13years, we estimate the relative and absolute profitability of nitrogen application rates on maize fields and compare these profitability conditions to observed nitrogen use patterns over time. In general, we find that farmers are consistently and steadily increasing towards risk-adjusted economically optimal rates of fertilizer application over time and that, in the most agriculturally productive areas, farmers’ application rates on maize sometimes exceed rates that maximize profitability. Fertilizer use rates may nevertheless be profitably raised in these areas, but doing so will require the adoption of complementary inputs and management practices that raise maize response rates to fertilizer application. This motivates a more holistic approach to input intensification strategies in the region.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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.:
- Xu, Z. & Guan, Zhengfei & Jayne, Thomas S. & Black, J. Roy, 2009.
"Factors Influencing the Profitability of Fertilizer Use on Maize in Zambia,"
Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs
54639, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
- Zhiying Xu & Zhengfei Guan & T.S. Jayne & Roy Black, 2009. "Factors influencing the profitability of fertilizer use on maize in Zambia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(4), pages 437-446, 07.
- Xu, Zhiying & Guan, Zhengfei & Jayne, Thomas S. & Black, J. Roy, 2009. "Factors Influencing the Profitability of Fertilizer Use on Maize in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54500, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
- Nigel Key & Elisabeth Sadoulet & Alain De Janvry, 2000. "Transactions Costs and Agricultural Household Supply Response," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 245-259.
- Barrett, Christopher B., 1996. "On price risk and the inverse farm size-productivity relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 193-215, December.
- Yanyan Liu & Robert Myers, 2009. "Model selection in stochastic frontier analysis with an application to maize production in Kenya," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 33-46, February.
- Jayne, T S, 1994. "Do High Food Marketing Costs Constrain Cash Crop Production? Evidence from Zimbabwe," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 387-402, January.
- Luc Christiaensen & Lionel Demery, 2007. "Down to Earth : Agriculture and Poverty Reduction in Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6624, August.
- de Janvry, Alain & Fafchamps, Marcel & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1991. "Peasant Household Behaviour with Missing Markets: Some Paradoxes Explained," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1400-417, November.
- Ekbom, Anders & Alem, Yonas & Sterner, Thomas, 2012.
"Integrating Soil Sciences into Agricultural Production Frontiers,"
Working Papers in Economics
550, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
- Ekbom, Anders & Alem, Yonas & Sterner, Thomas, 2013. "Integrating soil science into agricultural production frontiers," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 291-308, June.
- Tavneet Suri, 2011. "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 159-209, 01.
- Paswel P. Marenya & Christopher B. Barrett, 2009. "State-conditional Fertilizer Yield Response on Western Kenyan Farms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 991-1006.
- Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2008. "How High Are Rates of Return to Fertilizer? Evidence from Field Experiments in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 482-88, May.
- Alex Winter-Nelson & Anna Temu, 2005. "Impacts of prices and transactions costs on input usage in a liberalizing economy: evidence from Tanzanian coffee growers," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 33(3), pages 243-253, November.
- Michael Morris & Valerie A. Kelly & Ron J. Kopicki & Derek Byerlee, 2007. "Fertilizer Use in African Agriculture : Lessons Learned and Good Practice Guidelines," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6650, August.
- Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
- Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011.
"Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-90, October.
- Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2009. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," NBER Working Papers 15131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bellemare, Marc F. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2005.
"An Ordered Tobit Model of Market Participation: Evidence from Kenya and Ethiopia,"
14748, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
- Marc F. Bellemare & Christopher B. Barrett, 2006. "An Ordered Tobit Model of Market Participation: Evidence from Kenya and Ethiopia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(2), pages 324-337.
- Hausman, Jerry A & Taylor, William E, 1981.
"Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects,"
Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1377-98, November.
- Johannes Sauer & Hardwick Tchale, 2009. "The Economics of Soil Fertility Management in Malawi," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 535-560, 09.
- Kelly, Valerie A., 2005. "Farmers' Demand for Fertilizer in Sub-Saharan Africa," Staff Papers 11612, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:41:y:2013:i:c:p:39-52. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
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.