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In-kind transfers of maize, commercialization and household consumption in Kenya

Andersson Djurfeldt, Agnes LU and Wambugu, Stephen K. (2011) In Journal of Eastern African Studies 5(3). p.447-464
Abstract
This article discusses in kind food transfers and whether such transfers should be interpreted as a sign of the failure of grain markets to meet the food demands of the poor. The paper elucidates on aspects of both consumption and in kind transfers of maize against a backdrop of poorly functioning markets. The paper adds to the theoretical understanding of household based linkages and provides a documentation of in kind commodity flows missing in many discussions of such linkages. The purpose of the paper is twofold: First, it sheds light on the phenomenon of in kind transfers of staple crops in the Kenyan context. Secondly, the article assesses the wider reciprocal and livelihood implications for the transferring households. The paper... (More)
This article discusses in kind food transfers and whether such transfers should be interpreted as a sign of the failure of grain markets to meet the food demands of the poor. The paper elucidates on aspects of both consumption and in kind transfers of maize against a backdrop of poorly functioning markets. The paper adds to the theoretical understanding of household based linkages and provides a documentation of in kind commodity flows missing in many discussions of such linkages. The purpose of the paper is twofold: First, it sheds light on the phenomenon of in kind transfers of staple crops in the Kenyan context. Secondly, the article assesses the wider reciprocal and livelihood implications for the transferring households. The paper relies on three sets of data with respect to the methodology. It uses quantitative data collected at the household level in 2008, qualitative data collected at the village level in 2002 and 2008 as well as qualitative household level data gathered through in depth interviews with 30 heads of household and farm managers in Western Kenya in June and July of 2006. The survey found that 38% of the households transferred maize to their relatives. The explanations for in kind transfers are not primarily related to poor price incentives, but the functioning of household support systems across space. In kind transfers therefore at times drain the food resources of the sending households while constituting important sources of food security for receiving households. While the focus in the literature generally is on rural urban linkages, the direction of maize transfers was primarily rural to rural. The article concludes that existence of food transfers underpins the necessity of improving the commercial incentives for maize and other foodstuffs and eliminating the physical barriers to the free movement of foodstuffs across the national space. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
maize, Kenya, agricultural production, In kind transfers, consumption, households, reciprocity
in
Journal of Eastern African Studies
volume
5
issue
3
pages
447 - 464
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000299573300003
  • scopus:84855922444
ISSN
1753-1055
DOI
10.1080/17531055.2011.611671
project
Afrint project
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
40145639-ce6c-40ed-a775-4f930800640f (old id 2156623)
date added to LUP
2012-04-13 16:11:54
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:12:11
@article{40145639-ce6c-40ed-a775-4f930800640f,
  abstract     = {This article discusses in kind food transfers and whether such transfers should be interpreted as a sign of the failure of grain markets to meet the food demands of the poor. The paper elucidates on aspects of both consumption and in kind transfers of maize against a backdrop of poorly functioning markets. The paper adds to the theoretical understanding of household based linkages and provides a documentation of in kind commodity flows missing in many discussions of such linkages. The purpose of the paper is twofold: First, it sheds light on the phenomenon of in kind transfers of staple crops in the Kenyan context. Secondly, the article assesses the wider reciprocal and livelihood implications for the transferring households. The paper relies on three sets of data with respect to the methodology. It uses quantitative data collected at the household level in 2008, qualitative data collected at the village level in 2002 and 2008 as well as qualitative household level data gathered through in depth interviews with 30 heads of household and farm managers in Western Kenya in June and July of 2006. The survey found that 38% of the households transferred maize to their relatives. The explanations for in kind transfers are not primarily related to poor price incentives, but the functioning of household support systems across space. In kind transfers therefore at times drain the food resources of the sending households while constituting important sources of food security for receiving households. While the focus in the literature generally is on rural urban linkages, the direction of maize transfers was primarily rural to rural. The article concludes that existence of food transfers underpins the necessity of improving the commercial incentives for maize and other foodstuffs and eliminating the physical barriers to the free movement of foodstuffs across the national space.},
  author       = {Andersson Djurfeldt, Agnes and Wambugu, Stephen K.},
  issn         = {1753-1055},
  keyword      = {maize,Kenya,agricultural production,In kind transfers,consumption,households,reciprocity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {447--464},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Journal of Eastern African Studies},
  title        = {In-kind transfers of maize, commercialization and household consumption in Kenya},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2011.611671},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2011},
}