Household income determinants of crop sales: The case of Common Bean production and marketing in selected bean corridors in Kenya



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African Rural Development Forum.


Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are mainly consumed without much processing although value addition through precooking leads to many benefits. Challenges in common bean production have been attributed to increasing severity of production constraints, amongst them erratic and poorly distributed rainfall patterns, and degraded natural resources – especially declining soil fertility. This study sought to characterise common bean producers, determinants of smallholder farmers' income from crop sales, bean marketing challenges and potential opportunities that can be explored for increased adoption and production of common beans along selected bean production corridors in Kenya. Data were collected from 440 respondents selected using a multi-stage random sampling procedure. Study findings show that labour distribution across bean production activities were predominantly carried out by male and female household members. Up to 50% of the respondents reported crop farming as their main source of household income. Smallholder farmers with secondary and above level of education stood to significantly gained more from crop sales relative to those with either primary or no education at all (p=0.04). Use of certified bean seeds coupled with allocation of large portion of owned land for bean production positively contributed to household income from crop sales (p=0.07; p=0.028, respectively). Challenges associated with bean marketing were unreliable and unorganized bean market; low bean grain prices; poor transport to sell farm produce and procure farm inputs; and market price instability emanating from market intermediaries. Value addition of beans at industrial level can enhance both household income and nutrition.



Certified bean seed, crop sales, education level, household income, Kenya