Journal of
Development and Agricultural Economics

  • Abbreviation: J. Dev. Agric. Econ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9774
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDAE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 553

Full Length Research Paper

Determinants of improved maize seed and fertilizer adoption in Kenya

J. O. Ouma1* and H. De Groote2
1Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Embu P. O. Box 27-60100, Embu, Kenya. 2International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) P. O. Box 1041-00621, Village Market, Nairobi, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 September 2011
  •  Published: 12 October 2011


The study quantifies factors affecting adoption of improved maize varieties and fertilizer by households in maize growing zones of Kenya. It uses Heckman two-stage model to analyze data collected from 1850 households in 2002. Credit was important in explaining the adoption of improved maize seed and fertilizer. Likewise the ability to access hired labour was positively associated with adoption of improved maize varieties and fertilizer. Education of household head and number of extension contacts played a role in the adoption of improved maize varieties. Distance to market was negatively associated with adoption of fertilizer. Use of fertilizer affected the adoption of improved maize varieties and the converse was true. The area planted to improved maize varieties was positively affected by household characteristics (education and age of household head), institutional factors (number of extension contacts) and other variables such as ability to hire labour. Use of fertilizer was strongly and positively associated with the intensity of use of improved maize. These findings suggest that provision of credit and strengthening of research/extension farmers linkages are likely to play a significant role in enhancing the use of improved maize seed and fertilizer and therefore increasing maize productivity in Kenya.


Key words: Adoption, fertilizer, households, Heckman, Kenya, maize, seed.