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The economics of small-scale wheat production technologies for Kenya

Author: Longmire, J.L.
Author: Lugogo, J.
Year: 1989
Abstract: Kenya is a net importer of wheat and is projected to remain so to the end of this century. Wheat is grown in Kenya using mechanized production methods that differ little from what might be observed in many industrialized countries. These methods contrast markedly with wheat-growing methods in many parts of the Third World where more labor-intensive practices are followed. In Kenya, wheat is not traditionally a smallholder crop, although it is grown on small farms. Maize is the traditional smallholder crop in many parts of Kenya. As a consequence, when wheat land has been settled by smallholders in Kenya cropping patterns have switched from wheat to maize and, to a lesser extent, dairying. Since Kenya is largely self-sufficient in maize production, policymakers and researchers are seeking to promote small-scale, labor-intensive wheat technologies. This decision is based partly on the need to promote employment and income in the rural sector. Given Kenya's high population growth rates and comparatively low wage rates, substituting labor for capital in agriculture has been a central feature of post-Independence land settlement programs. This study reports on an economic analysis of smallholder wheat technologies. Since smallholder wheat technologies are not used in Kenya, the analysis superimposes technical information from other countries, particularly Pakistan, where smallholder technologies are well established. The analysis involved costing alternative operations of different wheat and maize technologies for different sizes of fields. The time required for operations to be done 1) by machinery of different sizes, 2) by bullocks, and 3) by manual labor with hoes, sickles, or by hand was specified. This provided the basis for costing alternative operations and hence technologies having widely differing degrees of labor intensity for wheat. In addition to costing technologies with budgetary analysis, the profitability of alternative wheat and maize technologies was analyzed. This was done using 1987 prices of inputs and outputs for the Nakuru district. Besides the analysis of farmer profitability, the national profitability (social profitability) was assessed. National profitability provides a measure of comparative advantage of alternative technologies for wheat and maize in Kenya. Some key parameters were varied to analyze the sensitivity of the results to underlying assumptions.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: CIMMYT
Serie: CIMMYT Economics Working Paper
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Conference Proceedings
Country focus: Kenya
Region: Eastern Africa
Place of Publication: Mexico
Pages: ii, 65 pages
Serie Number: 89-1
Agrovoc: WHEAT

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This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Socioeconomics
    Including topics such as farming systems, markets, impact & targeting, innovations, and GIS
  • Wheat
    Wheat - breeding, phytopathology, physiology, quality, biotech

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