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Off-farm Work and Fertilizer Intensification among Smallholder Farmers in Kenya: A Cross-Crop Comparison

oseph Opiyo a Research Assistant at the Institute presented a paper on Off-farm Work and Fertilizer Intensification among Smallholder Farmers in Kenya: A Cross-Crop Comparison. The relationship between the farm and off-farm sectors has been a subject of much debate though very little empirical work exists. The paper sought to establish how off-farm work affects fertilizer use on smallholder farms in Kenya.

The analysis was done by type of off-farm work i.e. combined off-farm, non-farm and work on other farms. Whereas non-farm comprises of salaries and wage employment, business and informal activities & remittances while work on other farms refers to farm kibarua as it is commonly known as in Kenya. The paper also analysed the effect of off-farm work across selected crop types i.e. maize (a major staple), vegetables (an emerging cash crop), and tea (a traditional export crop).      

Findings show that the effect of off-farm work on fertilizer use per hectare differs by crop. Off-farm work has a negative effect on fertilizer intensification on maize and vegetables but no effect on fertilizer use on tea. Non-farm sources of income seem to drive the overall effect and household characteristics play some role in the intensity of fertilizer use, asserting the notion that fertilizer markets are imperfect.

The direction of relationship between off-farm work and on-farm investment has important implications for public policy to support rural communities during the process of economic change. The results could guide a mix of investments geared towards the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.

Authors: Mary K. Mathenge, Melinda Smale and Joseph Opiyo

 

 

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Tegemeo at the Inaugural East Africa Evidence to Action Conference, 24th May 2017

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Tegemeo participated at the inaugrual East Africa Evidence to Action (ICED) Conference held on 24th-25th May 2017. 

Various speakers and panelists provided in-depth insight as well as practical tools that will enhance evidence based and data informed Policy and Practice in Africa.

Many topics were covered during this inaugural conference and in line with Tegemeo's mandate of disseminating its research findings to various stakeholders, we participated in various sessions. The Institute Director Dr. Mary Mathenge led a panel of other experts from the Institute comprising of:  

  1. Dr. Mercy Kamau, MLE Director, Tegemeo Institute
  2. Dr. Lilian Kirimi, Research Director, Tegemeo Institute
  3. Dr. Timothy Njagi, M&E Specialist, Tegemeo Institute
  4. Dr. Miltone Ayieko, Outreach, Communication & Partnerships Coordinator, Tegemeo Institute

The panel of experts discussed keys to translating Evidence to Policy and Practice: Lessons and Experiences from Agricultural Policy Research

 

Besides the Tegemeo team moderating in various sessions and exhibiting part of its research products, Dr. Timothy Njagi & Dr. Mary Mathenge presented at a break out session themed Adoption of Improved Technology. Their presentation was on lessons drawn from a study on Adoption of Technology Bundles among Smallholder Maize Farmers in Kenya Evaluating Socioeconomic Impacts of Mid-altitude Maize Hybrid Varieties in Kenya. Dr. Mercy Kamau and Dr. Fred Bagamba presented at yet another break out session themed: Adoption of Improved Technology. Their presentation was onImproving food security through the introduction of new seed varieties: How effective are demonstration plots and field days in influencing farmers adoption behavior towards new maize and bean varieties?

The conference was held at Park Inn Radisson Blu, Nairobi.

Visit our twitter and flickr pages to follow on part of the proceedings

 

 

Tegemeo Hosts Press Conference on the Nations Food Situation and Rising Food Prices, Thursday 25th May 2017

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Tegemeo Institute hosted a Press Conference on Thursday 25th May 2017 discussing the food situation and rising commodity prices in the country. The focus was mainly given to maize, sugar and milk and was informed by a recent rapid assessment survey conducted by the Institute.


The Institute's Outreach Communication and Partnerships Coordinator Dr. Miltone Ayieko and other Senior Researchers gave emerging evidence and recommendations from the study that are key to informing and guiding policy related to the agricultural sector.


Journalists from key media houses covered the event.

 

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Tegemeo at the Inaugural Food Security and Water NMG Leadership Forum, 3rd April 2017

Tegemeo Institute participated in the inaugural Nation Media Group (NMG) Leadership Forum as part of the panelists discussing matters related to development. The forum was launched as a platform bringing together professionals, stakeholders, leaders and Kenyans to discuss issues of national importance.

Tegemeo Institute’s Director, Dr. Mary Mathenge represented the Institute, at the forum which discussed issues of food security and water access to Kenyans. Dr. Mathenge noted that there is need for a serious review of the nation’s agricultural policies and their implementation, drawing from even, the nation’s budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector of 3%. The agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett concurred that the Ag Sector has been underfunded for a long time noting that the private sector can assist to bridge this gap. On matters of food security, the Institute had in late 2016, given indication of an impending drought come year 2017 following a study conducted on the competitiveness of key food staples in Kenya: role of production costs and pricing. Issues of food availability, accessibility, and affordability were identified as key drivers to a food secure nation and at this fora, it was noted that the government’s response to emerging issues in the Ag sector though right often come in late hence the effects of drought and high food prices being experienced.

The NMG Leadership Forum platform seeks to encourage dialogue on key issues affecting the country such as economy, agriculture, health, governance and financial markets.

Tegemeo Hosts Ella Workshop on Land Tenure and Sustainable Pastoralist Systems, held in Ololulung'a, Narok County on 16th March 2017

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Date: 16th March, 2017

Venue: Ololulung’a Sub County Headquarters, Narok County

Pastoralism is an extensive form of livestock production that constitutes the main production system found in rangelands, providing livelihoods to an estimated of 500 million people globally. Similar to other parts of the world, the country’s public policy has not always pursued policies that sustain pastoralism. This has been due to misconceptions about pastoralism, competition from other land uses, demographic changes and urbanisation. As such, pastoral communities in Kenya, similar to other parts of the world, are now facing immense pressure on their land.

Against this backdrop, Tegemeo Institute conducted a study that tracked how land tenure in pastoralist communities had changed. In addition, we were able to compare this evolution with what is happening to pastoral communities in other parts of the world with a view of learning from these experience and drawing lessons that will help pastoral communities sustain their productive systems. We have drawn lessons through interaction with experts from Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America. The findings from this work were disseminated and discussed in a recent workshop as we continue to engage in the debate for sustaining pastoralism. The workshop will brought together government bureaucrats, pastoral communities and other stakeholders working with pastoral communities to deliberate policies and strategies that will improve pastoral communities’ livelihoods and sustain their productive systems.

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Invitation to afREA Conference in Uganda

Invitation to afREA Conference in Uganda - 27th - 31st March 2017

 

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