Market Access, Soil Fertility, and Income in East Africa
We identify the major factors affecting farm and nonfarm income by using panel data in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. We supplement the panel data with household-level soil fertility data and road distance data to the nearest urban center. The proportion of the loose surface roads, instead of tarmac roads, has a clear negative association with crop income, livestock income, and per capita income in both Kenya and Uganda. We also find that soil fertility has a clear positive association with crop and livestock incomes in Kenya, but not in Uganda and Ethiopia. In Kenya, farmers produce not only cereal crops but also high value crops and engage in dairy and other livestock production if the fertility of the soil is good.
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