Determinants of Smallholder Maize Farmers’ Choice of Selling Point: A Case of Kwanza District, Trans-Nzoia County, Kenya

Macharia Anthony, Mwangi Lenah


Commercialization of the smallholder maize sector in Kenya necessitates improving the ability of farmers to efficiently participate in both the formal and informal maize markets. Smallholder maize farmers of Kwanza district, Trans Nzoia County, however, have limited access to formal maize markets. This limits their competitiveness in the market hence a reduction in their returns. This study was aimed at assessing the factors that influence smallholder maize farmers’ participation in formal maize markets in the region. Multistage sampling technique was used to select 196 smallholder maize farmers from the region. Primary data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires and the Probit model used to assess the factors influencing smallholder choice of selling point. Age of household head, household size and source of market information negatively influenced the probability of the farmers selling through formal maize markets. Education level, access to credit, sorting produce, tarpaulin ownership and output price however positively influenced the probability of selling through the formal maize markets. The study recommends policies that ensure the availability and access of appropriate market information. Farmers could also be assisted in the acquisition of tarpaulin used for drying maize and other necessary infrastructure to avoid losses due to the poor post-harvest handling of their output. This will greatly help in commercialising the smallholder maize sector in the region.

Keywords: Formal maize markets, Informal maize markets, Market participation, Transaction costs

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/11-10-17

Publication date:May 31st 2020

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