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Effects of Population Density on Smallholder Agricultural Production and Commercialization in Rural Kenya

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  • Muyanga, Milu
  • Jayne, Thomas S.

Abstract

This study analyzes the implications of increasing population density in Kenya’s rural areas on smallholder production and commercialization. Using data from five panel surveys on 1,146 small-scale farms over the 1997-2010 period, we use econometric techniques to determine how increasing rural population density is affecting farm household behavior and its implication to smallholder commercialization. We find that farm productivity and incomes tend to rise with population density up to 600-650 persons per km2; beyond this threshold, rising population density is associated with sharp declines in farm productivity. Currently 14% of Kenya’s rural population resides in areas exceeding this population density. The study concludes by exploring the nature of institutional and policy reforms needed to address these development problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Muyanga, Milu & Jayne, Thomas S., 2012. "Effects of Population Density on Smallholder Agricultural Production and Commercialization in Rural Kenya," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124993, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124993
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.124993
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Community/Rural/Urban Development; International Relations/Trade; Production Economics;
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