The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of paddy sourcing methods on the volume of rice milled by small and medium-scale rice millers in Mwea, Kirinyaga County, Kenya. Data were collected using semi-structured questionnaires from 90 small-scale millers and 70 medium-scale millers amounting to a total of 160 rice millers. The results from a Multinomial Endogenous Switching Regression (MESR) show that direct sourcing from individual farmers, individual farmers bringing paddy to the miller, buying from traders and sourcing through agents are the four paddies sourcing methods used by rice millers. Only 2.2% of the millers used a single sourcing method while 97.8% use a combination of methods. The highest volume of paddy sourced was achieved using a combination of three paddy sourcing methods which are buying from traders, direct sourcing from individual farmers and individual farmers bringing paddy to the miller (B1D1I1A0). This combination increases volumes sourced by 114.1%. This underscores the sole vitality of combination of paddy sourcing methods. This can guide public and private policy and decision-makers on how to target rice millers’ capacity to source reasonable volumes of paddy to reduce the time that the rice mills remain idle throughout the year.
Key words: Paddy, paddy sourcing method, capacity utilization, underutilization, combination of paddy sourcing methods, small-scale millers, medium-scale millers.
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