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Abstract

This study investigates the effect of cash cropping on food availability and examines the determinants of the proportion of income allocated for food expenditures in the Nyeri district in Kenya. Using a Tobit model, the results suggest that in general food expenditure allocations suffer due to cash cropping in Kenya as the lump-sum income flows from this may be used for purchases other than food. Food expenditure also suffers when remittances are irregular. On the other hand, earnings from outside employment for married women living with husbands are positively associated with food expenditure allocations. Amounts of non-cash food output as well as ownership of livestock are negatively associated with food expenditure allocations. These findings indicate that lump sum income may not lead to improved welfare of women and children. Thus, there may be social reasons for increasing non-cash food production especially by women, instead of over emphasising cash cropping as now seems to be so in public policy.

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