Tegemeo Institute at the 4th ICAAAE Conference

  The Institute Team with Dr Mustapha Jouili North Africa Representative of ICAAAE and President du Comite dorganisation local at the conference

 The Institute Team with Dr Mustapha Jouili North Africa Representative of ICAAAE and Président du Comité d'organisation local at the conference

Tegemeo Institute was represented at the 4th International Conference of the African Association of Agricultural Economists Conference (AAAE), held on 22-25 September 2013 in Tunisia.

Dr. Mary Mathenge, the Institute Director and two other senior staff members, Dr. Lilian Kirimi and Mr. Raphael Gitau, attended the Conference, where they participated in different activities. Dr. Mathenge chaired two sessions, an invited panel session on Introducing the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI) in East/Southern Africa: Toward a Coordinated and Locally Driven Research Agenda, and a poster paper session.

In the invited session on ReNAPRI, Mr. Raphael Gitau highlighted findings on Costs of Production in Kenya under the topic “Low-hanging fruits: Comparative Cost of Maize Production Study in East/Southern Africa”. The objective of ReNAPRI is to have a coordinated and locally driven research agenda. One of the current key activities of the network is a study on the comparative costs of maize production in the East/Southern Africa region, using the Agri benchmark approach. During the conference, reports on maize cost of production using this approach were presented for Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya. Mr. Gitau presented the Kenyan case and the regional summary, which included all the countries represented within the ReNAPRI network (i.e. Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa).

Dr. Lilian Kirimi made a presentation during the Presented Paper Session 2. The title of the paper was Household Food Security and Commercialization among Smallholder Farmers in Kenya. The paper sought to identify factors that influence household food security for Kenyan rural smallholder households, and in particular, determine if household commercialization as defined by household participation in input (fertilizer and seed) and crop output markets affects food security position. Results showed that household commercialization was associated with a reduced risk of being in the chronically food poor and oscillator groups compared to the food non-poor group. Hence, market participation can play a significant role in reducing food poverty, thus ensuring food security. This suggests that facilitating the expansion of market participation by smallholder farmers can be critical in helping households transition out of food poverty. This will entail enabling access to affordable production inputs, suitable to small scale farmers, thus ensuring that farmers are not trapped in low productivity–low return farming activities that lead to food insecurity. The use of productivity enhancing inputs will improve the ability of smallholder farmers to produce sufficient marketable surplus. Also, it will be important to strengthen efforts geared toward creating market linkages for the various agricultural enterprises.


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