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The Effect of Farm Size on Agricultural Intensification and Resource Allocation Decisions : Evidence from Smallholder Farms in Embu District, Kenya

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概要 There has been a phenomenal decline in the average farm size in Kenya, especially in the high and medium agricultural potential areas, following rapid population growth coupled with traditional land i...nheritance patterns. This paper highlights how smallholders in Embu District have adjusted their farming practices and resource allocation decisions to meet the increasing demand of producing more output from small farms. We postulate that as farm sizes bcome small,thus precluding the possibilities of increasing output thorugh area expansion, farmers are confronted with two options: forst, renting an additional land, and second, intensifying agricultural production by adopting land-saving technologies as well as diversifying into high value crops that yield greater revenue per unit of land and labour. In this paper we have divided the sample householsd into three categories (small, medium and large farms) based on operational holding size in order to illustrate how adjustments in farming practices and resource allocation decisions vary with farm size. Our findings indicate that as land constrains intencify, farmers exhibit a high degree of agricultural intensification as manifested in their inclination towards land use practices that aim at increasnig land use efficiency. Moreover, as land scarsity continues to pervade the study region, the tendency to increase output through area expansion (hiring in additional land) is spplanted by the use of modern productivity enhancing inputs that increase output per unit area at less costs. Further, our data show that, on the whole, smaller farms depict a higher level of intencification than the relatively larger farmers, although the relationship between land scarsity and intensification is not linear, possibly due to financial constraints which engender selective adoption and partial implementation of innovations. Notably, where land resources were limiting, cash crops appeared to compete with food staples for both land and modern inputs (fertilizer and pesticides).続きを見る

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登録日 2009.04.22
更新日 2017.02.07