Nonfarm Work and Fertilizer Use Among Smallholder Farmers in Kenya: A Cross-Crop Comparison

We use panel data from a sample of smallholder farmers in Kenya to test how the effects of nonfarm earnings on demand for fertilizer vary across different crops, namely: a major food staple (maize), an emerging cash crop (vegetables), and a traditional export crop (tea). We find that, holding other factors constant, nonfarm earnings from either business or salaried work detract from fertilizer application rates on maize and vegetables. While nonfarm salaried earnings appear to have no effect, business income positively affects fertilizer use and application rates on tea. Results suggest competition for household resources between farm and nonfarm sectors among growers of Kenya’s main staple and emerging cash crops, but possible complementarity among tea growers, who farm a traditional perennial export crop with longer planning horizons.

Issue Date:
Aug 18 2015
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
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Series Statement:
Tegemeo Working Papers

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-30

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