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Marital Status, Farm Size and other Influences On the Extent of Cash Cropping in Kenya: A Household Case Study


  • Kiriti, Tabitha
  • Tisdell, Clement A.


This article examines the effects of marital status, farm size and other factors on the extent of cash cropping (and allocation of land use) by means of a case study in the Nyeri district in Kenya. It was found that married women are involved in the production of a relatively greater amount of output of cash crops than unmarried women since husbands prefer to have more land under cash crops than food crops. Farmers with better quality land allocate a high proportion of it to non-food cash crops, which may expose some households to greater risks of possible famine. The proportion of land allocated to food crops declines as the farm size increases while the proportion of land allocated to non-food cash crops rises as the size of farm increases. Age is also inversely associated with subsistence. Education, though inversely associated with subsistence farming does not appear to be statistically very significant as an influence on the composition of land use and composition of farm output. With growing commercialisation, married women work more hours than unmarried ones, working not only on non-cash food crops but also on non-food cash crops. Married women seem to lose their decision-making ability with growth of agricultural commercialisation, as husbands make most decisions to do with cash crops. Married women in Kenya also have little or no power to change the way land is allocated between food and non-food cash crops.

Suggested Citation

  • Kiriti, Tabitha & Tisdell, Clement A., 2003. "Marital Status, Farm Size and other Influences On the Extent of Cash Cropping in Kenya: A Household Case Study," Social Economics, Policy and Development Working Papers 105586, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uqsese:105586

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    Cited by:

    1. Clement A. Tisdell, 2014. "Sustainable agriculture," Chapters,in: Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 32, pages 517-531 Edward Elgar Publishing.


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