Modeling the Effects of Input Market Reforms on Fertilizer Demand and Maize Production: A Case Study from Kenya
November 1, 2015 - Author: Megan Sheahan, Joshua Ariga, and Thomas S. Jayne
Megan Sheahan, Joshua Ariga, and Thomas S. Jayne. 2015. Modeling the Effects of Input Market Reforms on Fertilizer Demand and Maize Production: A Case Study from Kenya, Journal of Agricultural Economics, November 2015
Kenya is one of the few countries in sub-Saharan Africa to experience an impressive rise in fertiliser use following a series of input market reforms in the early 1990s. Two major consequences of these reforms were declining fertiliser marketing margins and distances between farmers and fertiliser dealers. We quantify the effects of these changes on commercial fertiliser use and maize production in Kenya by estimating fertiliser demand and maize supply response functions using nationwide household survey data. Our results indicate that between 1997 and 2010, the estimated 27% reduction in real fertiliser prices that can be attributed to falling marketing margins associated with market reforms led to a 36% increase in nitrogen use on maize fields and a 9% increase in maize production resulting from both yield and acreage effects. On the other hand, decreasing distances to fertiliser retailers from the perspective of a given household did not appear to raise fertiliser use or maize supply, although a comparison across households using average distances over the panel indicate that those closer to retailers do apply more fertiliser on their maize fields.