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Smallholder market participation under transactions costs: Maize supply and fertilizer demand in Kenya

Alene, Arega D., Manyong, V.M., Omanya, G., Mignouna, H.D., Bokanga, M., Odhiambo, G.
Food policy 2008 v.33 no.4 pp. 318-328
corn, fertilizers, supply, demand, costs and returns, small-scale farming, surpluses, market power, food crops, elasticities, commodity foods, commodity prices, Kenya
This paper assessed the effects of transactions costs--relative to price and non-price factors--on smallholder marketed surplus and input use in Kenya. A selectivity model was used that accounts for the effects of transactions costs, assets, technology, and support services in promoting input use and generating a marketable surplus. Output supply and input demand responses to changes in transactions costs and price and non-price factors were estimated and decomposed into market entry and intensity. The results showed that while transactions costs indeed have significant negative effects on market participation, institutional innovations--such as group marketing--are also emerging to mitigate the costs of accessing markets. Output price has no effect on output market entry and only provides incentives for increased supply by sellers. On the other hand, both price and non-price factors have significant influence on adoption and intensity of input use. Overall, the findings suggest that policy options are available other than price policies to promote input use and marketed surplus. The paper concludes with implications for policy to induce greater input-output market participation among smallholders in Africa.