Characterizing Smallholder Maize Farmers’ Marketing in Kenya: An Insight into the Intra-Household Gender, Wealth-Status, Educational and Credit Access Dimensions

Dennis Etemesi Olumeh, Rahma Adam, David Jakinda Otieno, Willis Oluoch-Kosura


This paper examines patterns of production and market participation among male-headed households (MHHs) and female-headed households (FHHs), in order to determine the role of gender in accessing agricultural support services in Kenya. Different methods and data sources were used: a survey of 613 maize-producing households was spread over five counties and in-depth farm interviews were carried out; principal component analysis was used to categorize households into wealth categories based on their asset index; descriptive statistics were used to generate means and frequencies; and t-test was applied to show significant differences between groups. The results showed that in comparison to MHHs, FHHs produced and marketed fewer kilograms of maize. Moreover, MHHs are more commercialized in comparison with their female counterparts. More than half of the respondents did not sell their produce, and for those who did sell maize, the farm-gate channel was the dominant outlet. Furthermore, over three-quarters of farmers who applied for credit did not receive it. Notably, there are significant differences between MHHs and FHHs in the quantities of maize produced and sold.

Keywords: Market participation, Smallholder farmers, Wealth index, Gender, Kenya.

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