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Working paper 24 - Factors Driving the Growth in Fertilizer Consumption in Kenya, 1990-2005: Sustaining the Momentum in Kenya and Lessons for Broader Replicability in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author(s):  Ariga, Joshua; Jayne, Thomas; Nyoro, James

Introduction

The objective of this study is to identify the factors responsible for the impressive growth in fertilizer use in Kenya since market liberalization in the early 1990s. Over the past 10 years, fertilizer consumption has risen by 35%. So far, it is unknown whether smallholder farmers are responsible for this growth or whether it is being driven mainly by the large-scale and/or estate sectors. Moreover, it is important for policy makers to know whether the increased fertilizer consumption is being devoted to smallholder food crops or whether industrial crops such as tea and sugarcane are responsible for this growth.

This study addresses these questions using nationwide survey data on smallholder fertilizer use patterns between 1996 and 2004. The study also explores whether the growth in fertilizer use in Kenya is attributed to any particular types of fertilizer delivery supply chains. A better understanding of the types of fertilizer distribution channels fueling the growth in consumption and the sustainability of these delivery systems can be of great help in guiding future policy to replicate successful supply chain models more widely in Kenya. Finally the study is meant to guide discussions on fertilizer marketing policy in Kenya in line with the new Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS).

Factors Driving the Growth in Fertilizer Consumption in Kenya, 1990-2005:Sustaining the Momentum in Kenya and Lessons for Broader Replicability in Sub-Saharan Africa

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