Feb 24, 2017 - Policy Output

Diverse Soils and Inputs Challenge Recommendations to Maize Farmers in Kenya

Feed the Future with UC-Davis BASIS Policy Brief

BY EMILIA TJERNSTRÖM, TRAVIS LYBBERT AND MICHAEL CARTER

“In Kenya and other countries, researchers and policy makers grapple with how to increase the use of higher-yielding inputs, such as improved seed and fertilizer, among poor and smallholder farmers. Promoting general recommendations through trainings or government recommendations can overlook significant variations in soil quality and the availability of quality seed and fertilizer. For farmers who do adopt, this divergence between recommended and optimal inputs can lead to yields that are lower than these innovations can make possible. This makes heterogeneity, as researchers describe it, a complex challenge in helping poor or smallholder farmers to adopt agricultural innovations that achieve the yields possible today.”