Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development

Unlocking the Market

Fertilizer and maize in Kenya

Joshua Ariga and T. S. Jayne

Key period: 1990–2007

Geographic region: Kenya

The intervention: In Kenya, policy reforms in the early-1990s contributed to the rapid growth of private investment in fertilizer and maize marketing, resulting in a dramatic reduction in farmers’ time, effort, and costs associated with purchasing fertilizer and selling surplus maize production. The average distance to the nearest fertilizer retailer for small farmers has decreased by more than half between 1997 and 2007, reflecting a large expansion in the number of fertilizer retailers serving smallholder areas. The distance traveled by farmers to sell their maize to private traders also declined over this period. The proportion of small-scale farmers using fertilizer on maize during the main growing season rose from 56 percent in 1996 to 70 percent in 2007, contributing to improved productivity and availability of maize, a vitally important staple crop for Kenyan consumers.

Book Chapter:
Unlocking the Market: Fertilizer and maize in Kenya
Joshua Ariga and T. S. Jayne
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Discussion Paper:
Private sector responses to public investments and policy reforms: The case of fertilizer and maize market development in Kenya
Ariga, Joshua; Jayne, Thomas S. 2009. IFPRI Discussion Paper 921.
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