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Feeding everyone in sub-Saharan African countries remains a challenge because of the high population growth rate, climate change effects and declining soil fertility, particularly affecting maize and legumes availability. In Kenya, maize and legumes are important staple crops and a recipe in most household dinner tables. However, smallholder farmers are still faced with low maize and legumes security. Understanding the factors that influence a given household to produce above or below the household annual requirements, is crucial and largely ignored in the literature. Therefore, this study was carried out to understand the factors influencing maize availability equivalent among smallholder maize-legume farmers in selected counties in Kenya. Panel data were collected from 613 randomly sampled households from five counties. A maize availability equivalent was then calculated and grouped into three categories, which included those households that produced maize equivalent below the average (deficient), along average (sufficient) and those above average (surplus). An ordered logistic regression model was then fitted to estimate the effect of social capital, socioeconomic and institutional factors on maize availability equivalent. The econometric results showed that only the network density as a measure of social capital positively and significantly influenced maize availability equivalent in the household. Other factors like gender, education, age, income of the household head and average plot distance to nearest market were significant too. Policy recommendations must address gendered production, development of farmer education, participation on social institutions, creation of greater and stronger network density, as well as informing the correct age that will improve the maize equivalent in the households.


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