IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

State-conditional Fertilizer Yield Response on Western Kenyan Farms


  • Paswel P. Marenya
  • Christopher B. Barrett


Fertilizer interventions have attained prominence in rural poverty reduction programs in Africa. Using data from maize plots operated by small farmers in western Kenya, we find a von Liebig-type relationship between soil organic matter (SOM) and maize yield response to nitrogen application. Low SOM commonly limits the yield response to mineral fertilizer application. Although fertilizer is, on average, profitable in our sample, on roughly one-third of the plots degraded soils limit the marginal productivity of fertilizer such that it becomes unprofitable at prevailing prices. Moreover, because poorer farmers most commonly cultivate soils deficient in SOM, fertilizer interventions might be less pro-poor than is widely assumed and may instead reinforce ex ante income inequality. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:91:y:2009:i:4:p:991-1006

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:91:y:2009:i:4:p:991-1006. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Oxford University Press (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.