Bio

PROF. KOSURA OLUOCH W.

Willis Oluoch-Kosura is Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Nairobi. He obtained his PhD in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University, Ithaca in 1983, MSc in Agricultural Economics from the Australian National University in 1978 and BSc in Agriculture from the University of Nairobi in 1976. His interest is in the area of Agricultural Development Policy, focusing on issues of Rural Factor and Product Markets, Poverty Dynamics, Technology Generation and Adoption, Institutional Analysis and Project Planning and Management.

Publications


2013

Oluoch, KW, Muriuki AW, Olubayo FM, Kilalo D.  2013.  WHY PESTS AND DISEASES REGULATION SHOULD CONCERN MANKIND.

2011

Oluoch-Kosura, W, Karugia JT;, Wambugu SK;.  2011.  Conditions for achieving sustained agricultural intensification in Africa: evidence from Kenya. AbstractWebsite

This chapter examines the conditions for achieving sustained agricultural intensification using evidence from micro- and macro-data from Kenya, as well as the six 'I's that represent significant proximate variables influencing agricultural performance, namely Incentives, Inputs, Infrastructure, Institutions, Initiatives and Innovations. The chapter further demonstrates how a change in these 'I's affects agricultural productivity. Furthermore, the authors discuss agricultural intensification and a number of public interventions to promote it, and spell out their implications for the realization of Millennium Development Goal of halving, by 2015, the share of people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger. Emphasis is laid on maize production, since the lack of maize signals famine and poverty in Kenya, even when other food crops may be available. The chapter examines the conditions that led to a revitalization of increased agricultural productivity in the period 2003 to 2007, after an enabling policy environment that favoured the six 'I's was put in place. The authors also present scenarios likely to emerge after the skirmishes that rocked the country soon after the December 2007 general elections.

2009

Maichomo, MW;, Gitau GK;, Gathuma JM;, Ndung'u JM;, Kosura WO;, Nyamwaro SO.  2009.  Comparative returns from livestock and crops among the agro-pastoralists of Magadi division, Kajiado District, Kenya. Abstract

A cross-sectional study was conducted in Kajiado District in August 2003 to estimate incomes from livestock and crop agricultural enterprises, and assess important factors associated with them. Purposive and random selection of pastoralists and their animals was used in order to collect data which were then analyzed using descriptive statistics and Generalized Linear Models from the households (HHs) that were all headed by men. These pastoralists were considered generally wealthy with an average livestock holding of 232 heads of livestock and annual total profit margins of Kshs 436,300 from both livestock and crops, demonstrating their complementarity and livelihood diversification for risk aversion. Cost of inputs and value of income were significantly associated with profit from either crop or livestock production enterprises. This study revealed that livestock production still remained the major source of livelihood in Kajiado District compared to crop production. While reducing cost of livestock and crop production could increase profit for the large and small scale pastoralists respectively, complementarity of crop and livestock production could be exploited by medium scale pastoralists to harness existing opportunities for significant wealth generation and achieve food security.

2007

Oluoch-Kosura, W;, Manyengo JU;, Wanjiku J;, Karugia JT.  2007.  Gender differentiation in the analysis of alternative farm mechanization choices on small farms in Kenya. AbstractWebsite

Using multinomial logit we analyze factors that influence the choice of mechanization technologies in Nyanza Province. The results show that farmers are aware of the attributes of the mechanization technologies, and that animal traction is the most commonly used. Gender, formal and informal training of the household head, and technology attributes influence the choice of mechanization technology. This study recommends increased formal and informal training, extension, credit, and tractor hire services to facilitate knowledge transfer, credit, and tractor availability. The study also recommends enactment of laws that increase women's access and control of productive resources.

2006

Karugia, JT;, Oluoch-Kosura W;, W; Nyikal R;, Odumbe M;, Marenya PP.  2006.  Access to Land, Income Diversification and Poverty Reduction in Rural Kenya. Abstract

The increasing land scarcity and the worsening trend of poverty in Kenya in recent years have raised concerns about the focus on land-based agriculture as the basis of growth in the rural areas. This paper combines two complementary data sets obtained from two locations in Kenya, drawn against distinctively different land availability patterns, to examine the diverse rural asset base and key sources of livelihood in the rural areas. The analysis reveals that while access to productive land is still an important determinant of livelihoods in the rural areas, even where land holdings are very small, growth in farm productivity alone may not guarantee households sufficient incomes to escape poverty. We find evidence to suggest that growth of non-farm sector is necessary and may be much more important in reducing risks and vulnerability to poverty and should be equally emphasized if households in such regions are to escape poverty. Off-farm earnings accounted for at least 50 percent of total household incomes in the two research locations. The study further revealed existence of significant barriers to entry to remunerative livelihoods both at farm and off-farm level. The study advocates for expansion of educational services, infrastructure and strengthening of rural institutions to spur broad-based development in the rural areas.

Wangila, J, Rasambainarivo J, Randrianarisoa JC, Place F, Murithi F, Minten B, Mcpeak J, Marenya PP, Barretta CB.  2006.  Welfare dynamics in rural Kenya and Madagascar. AbstractWebsite

This paper presents comparative qualitative and quantitative evidence from rural Kenya and Madagascar in an attempt to untangle the causality behind persistent poverty. We find striking differences in welfare dynamics depending on whether one uses total income, including stochastic terms and inevitable measurement error, or the predictable, structural component of income based on a household's asset holdings. Our results suggest the existence of multiple dynamic asset and structural income equilibria, consistent with the poverty traps hypothesis. Furthermore, we find supporting evidence of locally increasing returns to assets and of risk management behaviour consistent with poor households' defence of a critical asset threshold through asset smoothing.

2005

Oluoch-Kosura, W; Karugia, JT, W; Karugia JT.  2005.  Why the early promise for rapid increases in maize productivity in Kenya was not sustained: lessons for sustainable investment in agriculture. AbstractWebsite

The influence of climatic, policy and institutional-related (infrastructure, technology, institutional support) factors on the decline in maize output and yields and the subsequent deepening and broadening of food poverty in Kenya is discussed. This chapter provides lessons to enable a re-focusing of attention on ways to achieve sustainable investment in agriculture in order to improve the livelihoods of the majority of households in Kenya.

W., PROFKOSURAOLUOCH.  2005.  Oluoch-Kosura, W. and J. Karugia 2005 . European Journal of Anatomy. : East African Orthopaedic Journal
W., PROFKOSURAOLUOCH.  2005.  Nyikal, R.A. and W. Oluoch-Kosura, 2005. Risk Preference and Optimal Enterprise Combinations in Kahuro Division of Murang. European Journal of Anatomy. : East African Orthopaedic Journal

2004

Otieno, DJ;, Oluoch-Kosura W;, Marenya PP.  2004.  Shaping the Future of African Agriculture for Development: The Role of Social Scientists. Abstract

Food security remains a key challenge to the development efforts of most poor nations. This study investigated the significance of gender (denoted by number of male, female and children in a household) and social amenities in the food security equation. Frequency of food-related illnesses in a household was used as proxy for food security situation, while the entitlement/food utilization side of the equation was represented by the number of male and female children in the household, main source of domestic water, distance to nearest health center, means of transport accessible, household sanitation and level of awareness on basic food preparation and handling methods. Both descriptive and econometric models were used for analysis of primary data from a random sample of 100 farm-households in Yala division, Siaya district of Kenya. This study was conducted in February 2004. Results of this study indicated that majority (74%) of the rural households were experiencing poor food utilization, and were thus generally food insecure. The study also revealed that gender and social amenities were significant in the food security equation. Specifically, there was high correlation between food-related illnesses and use of untapped water, more male children than females in a household, long distance to health centers, lack of quick means of transport, unsafe food disposal and poor food storage habits. In order to improve the food utilization and thereby security for the rural farm-households, the study recommends improvement in the provision of social amenities for both male and female household members equitably.

Kosura-Oluoch, W;, Marenya PP;, Place F;, Barrett CB.  2004.  Indices and Manifestations of Poverty: Informing anti-poverty Policy Choices. Abstract

Kenya has entered the 21st century with over 50% of its population classified as absolutely poor in that they live on less than a dollar a day. Per capita income is lower than at the end of the 1960’s. Income, assets, and access to essential services are unequally distributed. The country has made important economic reforms, improving macroeconomic management, liberalizing markets and trade, and widening the scope for private sector activity in the hope of improving economic growth and welfare for Kenyans. Yet, despite these reforms the country has experienced little growth and poverty continues to afflict an ever-larger segment of its citizenry, especially in rural areas. Recent debate on the reasons for limited impact of economic reforms on poverty reduction has been of a “top-down’ nature, where analysts consider a policy reform as an external shock and ask how its benefits and costs work their way through the economy to the poor. Increasingly, researchers are recognizing that macroeconomic and sectoral issues are only part of the basis for growth and poverty reduction. What is missing is a “bottom-up” perspective, which starts from the capabilities of individuals, households, and communities. What are their productivities, their environment and how do economic and social developments play out on the ground and how can these developments be influenced? Poverty is a complex, multifaceted concept reflecting a low level of well-being (World Bank 2000). The human well being itself is a multidimensional continuum from extreme deprivation (poverty) to a high attainment or experience of standard of living. 2 In economics use is commonly made of income or expenditure flows as proxies for welfare. This approach is appropriately contested within the social sciences, since well being is experiential, value laden, context and situation dependent and reflects social and personal factors. Poverty is therefore more than lack of material needs, since material sufficiency alone does not guarantee well being. While measurement of poverty is a critical empirical and policy concern, an important phenomenon that has gained currency in recent work on poverty analysis is that of poverty dynamics and poverty traps: who climbs above it, descends below it or oscillates around it – because poverty dynamics is the more fundamental policy concern. Identifying the right policy mix to help a given poor subpopulation depend on an accurate understanding of rural poverty dynamics.

W., PROFKOSURAOLUOCH.  2004.  Mwangi, I. and W. Oluoch-Kosura 2004 . European Journal of Anatomy. : East African Orthopaedic Journal
W., PROFKOSURAOLUOCH.  2004.  Oluoch-Kosura, W. 2004 . European Journal of Anatomy. : East African Orthopaedic Journal

2003

W., PROFKOSURAOLUOCH.  2003.  Kavoi, M.M., W. Oluoch-Kosura, P.O. Owuor and D.K. Siele, 2003 . European Journal of Anatomy. : East African Orthopaedic Journal

2002

2001

Siele, DK, Owuor PO, Kavoi MM.  2001.  A Test for Relative Efficiency in the Smallholder Tea Sub-sector in Kenya. Abstractabstract.pdfWebsite

Despite availability of tea growing technologies to all Kenya tea farmers, green leaf production in smallholder sub-sector remains low. Tea in Kenya is grown in the East of the Rift Valley and the West of the Rift Valley regions. It is assumed that tea farms behave according to a certain decision rule termed as profit maximization. The objective of this study was to estimate the profit function for tea farms in the two regions and to compare/test the relative economic efficiency between them. A profit function model was fitted on 212 smallholder farms. The dependent variable was gross margin per farm per year. The independent variables were: number of tea bushes per farm per year, cost of fertilizer (Kshs.) per hectare per year, labour wage rate (Kshs.) per man-day in each farm and a dummy variable where D=1 for east Rift and D=0 for west Rift. The results depicted that the coefficients of the number of bushes, fertilizer cost/ha/year and labour wage rate/man-day were all positive and significant at 1 percent level. It had been hypothesized that there is no efficiency difference between East of the Rift Valley and West of the Rift Valley in tea production. Hence the coefficient of the region dummy would be zero. The results rejected the hypothesis of equal efficiency between the two regions at 10 percent level. Further more, the positive sign of the dummy variable indicates that East Rift Valley tea farms are more economic efficient, at all observed prices of the variable inputs given the distribution of the fixed factors of production. It is concluded that East Rift Valley is more successful in responding to the set of prices it faces (Price efficiency) and /or has higher quantities of fixed factors of production including entrepreneurship (technical efficiency).

Oluoch-Kosura, W, Siele DK, Owuor PO, Kavoi MM.  2001.  A Measure of Economic Rationality in the Smallholder Tea Sub-Sector in Kenya. Abstract

The smallholder tea sub-sector in Kenya is considered the largest and one of the most successful smallholder schemes in the world. However, tea productivity in this sub-sector has been persistently low when compared with the estate sub-sector. Despite the smallholders planting high yielding clonal teas, the national average yield in the sub-sector was only 2,075 kg made tea/hectare (mt/ha) compared to 3,954 kg mt/ha in the estate sub-sector in 1998. This study investigated some of the factors contributing to low tea productivity in the sub-sector. Cross sectional data gathered in Kirinyaga, Nyambene, Nandi and Nyamira Districts in 1999 were used. It was hypothesized that the extend of rationality in allocation of resources in the smallholder tea enterprise is relatively low. Hence, smallholder tea productivity has remained relatively lower than in the estate sub-sector, high yielding clones and useful agronomic recommendations extended in the smallholder sub-sector notwithstanding. To determine \"the extend of economic rationality\", \"A Test of Economic Rationality Model\" was used whereby, the index of economic rationality, ρ is the product moment coefficient of correlation between log (total variable costs-excluding labour costs) and log (labour-in mandays) for each tea district and region. The results showed that the product moment coefficient of correlation, ρ was:- 0.647 in Kirinyaga District, 0.651 in Nyambene District, 0.793 in Nandi District, 0.743 in Nyamira District, 0.595 in East Rift Valley Region, 0.752 in West Rift Valley Region and 0.674 for all farms surveyed. It was noted that the lowest value of ρ was 0.595 in East Rift Valley Region. It means that at least 59 percent of the variance in the logs of both inputs is due to the variation in the systematic profit-maximizing component of these inputs. The balance of 41 percent is the maximum that could be occasioned not only by poor technology and/or knowledge gaps but also by errors in the model and noise in the universe. The null hypothesis was rejected in favour of the alternative hypothesis. The conclusion is that smallholder tea farmers in Kenya seem to be quite price efficient in tea production.

2000

Oluoch-Kosura, W;, Okeyo AM;, Waithaka MM;, Okilla EA.  2000.  The economic implications of declining artificial insemination service provision in Kenya..
W., PROFKOSURAOLUOCH.  2000.  Oluoch-Kosura, W. 2000 . European Journal of Anatomy. : East African Orthopaedic Journal

1999

Oluoch-Kosura, W, Kilungo JK, McDermott JJ.  1999.  Allocative efficiency in smallholder dairy production in Kenya. Abstract

This study is aimed at analyzing the economics of smallholder dairy production in the Kiambu District, Kenya. The main objective was to “test for allocative efficiency” of the sample farms. The source of data was from randomly selected dairy farms in Kiambu. An analysis using a Cobb-Douglas form of production function was performed for the major inputs farmers used on their dairy animals. Results revealed that concentrates were being used inefficiently. This implied that there were potential gains which could accrue from reallocation of this resource. However, it was noted that there was efficiency in the use of operating capital, hired and family labour and farm by-products. This implies that, for those inputs used efficiently, further development in agriculture can be achieved only through the introduction of more modern technologies than those currently used. These could include new inputs, apicultural education, special skills and techniques, and competent guidance in farm planning.

Ariga, ES, Okeyo AM, Waithaka MM, Kyalo AM.  1999.  Agricultural technology, economic viability and poverty alleviation in Kenya. AbstractWebsite

The major challenges facing Kenya today are poverty and unemployment. About 50% of the rural population and 30% of the urban population live below the poverty line. With 80% of the population being rural the poverty problem is overwhelming. The country has been unable to generate adequate employment and wage employment has been declining over the recent past. While in the 1970s the growth rate of employment was about 4% per annum, in the current decade, the growth rate has been about 1.9% per annum, which is below the population growth rate estimated at about 3%. The country has also witnessed declining growth in income per capita. While in the 1960s per capita income grew at 2.6% p.a. this declined to 0.4% in 1980s. Between 1990 and 95 the decline was even more dramatic at negative 0.3% (Kenya, 1997). The poverty line is defined here as the value of consumption of food and non-food items below which individuals cannot afford the recommended energy intake plus a minimum allowance for non-food consumption. The poverty line has been estimated at about US$ 200 and 300 for rural and urban areas respectively (GoK, 1998). This translates to less than one US$ per day. Of Kenya’s total land area of 57.6 million hectares, 9.4 million or about 16% is classified as high and medium potential land for agriculture. The remaining area estimated at 84% makes up the arid and semi arid lands (ASALs). Out of the ASALs 48 million hectares, about 9 million hectares can support crop production, 15 million hectares is adequate for livestock production while the rest is dry and only useful for nomadic pastoralism. The ASAL supports about 20% of the population, 50% of livestock and 3% of current agricultural output and 7% of commercial output. ASALs have low natural fertility which are prone to compaction and vulnerable to erosion. The agriculture sector dominates the economy and contributes virtually to all the stated national goals including achievement of national and household food security, industrialization by year 2020 as well as provision of employment opportunities. Currently, agriculture accounts for about one-third of the gross domestic product, employs more than two-thirds of the labour force, accounts for almost 70% of the export earnings (excluding refined petroleum), generates the bulk of the country's food requirements and provides significant proportion of raw materials for the agricultural based industrial sector. Overall, the smallholder sub-sector contributes about 75% of the total value of agricultural output, 55% of the marketed agricultural output and provides just over 85% of the total employment in agriculture. The sector’s ability to contribute effectively to the national goals hinges on identifying and implementing measures which promote high and sustainable growth rate. Mellor (1990) asserted that agricultural productivity growth is normally the major source of sustained improvements in rural welfare. Three sources of agricultural growth can be identified in Kenya. One is the expansion of cultivated area. The second is substitution or switching towards higher valued commodities. The third is intensification. The first source of agricultural growth is currently extremely limited. The cultivable land available to open up has diminished over the years with rapidly rising population estimated at about 3% per annum to the extent that the land holdings are becoming sub-optimal economic units and there is ever increasing temptation to migrate to the marginal and fragile zone. Moreover, irrigation development which could help in increasing cultivable land has been very slow due to the seemingly high cost associated with it. Commodity substitution will contribute significantly to growth only if the input and output markets function in a way to allow the producers and the private sectors respond appropriately to the market signals. This is expected to occur if the on-going structural adjustment programmes succeed in limiting government intervention to its core functions (of public good nature) and allowing the private sector to take up the production, marketing and distribution role. Most agricultural growth will therefore come from the third source: increased output per unit land area. The realization of this growth potential will hinge on shifting rapidly from resource based to science and knowledge-based agriculture. The objective of this paper is to The sector’s ability to contribute effectively to the national goals hinges on identifying and implementing measures which promote high and sustainable growth rate. Mellor (1990) asserted that agricultural productivity growth is normally the major source of sustained improvements in rural welfare. Three sources of agricultural growth can be identified in Kenya. One is the expansion of cultivated area. The second is substitution or switching towards higher valued commodities. The third is intensification. The first source of agricultural growth is currently extremely limited. The cultivable land available to open up has diminished over the years with rapidly rising population estimated at about 3% per annum to the extent that the land holdings are becoming sub-optimal economic units and there is ever increasing temptation to migrate to the marginal and fragile zone. Moreover, irrigation development which could help in increasing cultivable land has been very slow due to the seemingly high cost associated with it. Commodity substitution will contribute significantly to growth only if the input and output markets function in a way to allow the producers and the private sectors respond appropriately to the market signals. This is expected to occur if the on-going structural adjustment programmes succeed in limiting government intervention to its core functions (of public good nature) and allowing the private sector to take up the production, marketing and distribution role. Most agricultural growth will therefore come from the third source: increased output per unit land area. The realization of this growth potential will hinge on shifting rapidly from resource based to science and knowledge-based agriculture. The objective of this paper is to

W., PROFKOSURAOLUOCH.  1999.  Kilungo, J.K. and W. Oluoch-Kosura, 1999. . European Journal of Anatomy. : East African Orthopaedic Journal

1998

Kilungo, JK;, Oluoch-Kosura W;, McDermott, J.J. J.J..  1998.  Relative Efficiency and Application to Kenyan Smallholder Dairy Industry.
Oluoch-Kosura, W;, Ackello-Ogutu C.  1998.  Role of credit in the uptake and productivity of improved dairy technologies in Kenya. Abstract

The potential for increasing marketable domestic milk production lives mainly in improving the technologies used as the smallholder farm sector. The other area of concern to complement technology improvement would be to strengthen dairy input and output marketing systems. The motivation for the current study arose from the observation of research institutions such as KARI Agricultural Universities and ILRI. This developed dairy farmers seem to be relatively slow in adopting the technolgies. This paper examines the role of credit in the uptake and continuous use of dairy technology by smallholders in Kenya, and assesses the relative productivity of liquidity constrained and non-constrained farmers.

Gitu, K.W., W;, Nyangito H, Oluoch-Kosura. W;.  1998.  Agriculture, Food and Environment. Kenya’s Situation.
W., PROFKOSURAOLUOCH.  1998.  Oluoch-Kosura, W. and C. Ackello-Ogutu, 1998. . European Journal of Anatomy. : East African Orthopaedic Journal
W., PROFKOSURAOLUOCH.  1998.  Kilungo, J.K., W. Oluoch-Kosura, J.J. McDermott and G.K. Gitau, 1998. . European Journal of Anatomy. : East African Orthopaedic Journal
W., PROFKOSURAOLUOCH.  1998.  Oluoch-Kosura, W. 1998 . European Journal of Anatomy. : East African Orthopaedic Journal

1996

Oluoch Kosura, W; Michieka RW;, Muchiri G;, Dibbits HJ.  1996.  Ox-drawn equipment development in Kenya.. AbstractWebsite

Recent efforts to develop ox-drawn equipment in Kenya arise out of the dilemma caused by unsuccessful efforts to promote tractors. The country has a number of about 10 000 tractors cultivating about 600 000 ha in the large-farm sector and 42 000 ha in the small-farm sector. The tractor market has slowed down to less than 1000 a year. The failure of tractor mechanization in small-scale farming coupled with the lack of ox-drawn equipment means that about 84% of smallholdings is using hand tools. In 1975, a workshop concluded that expanded ox-cultivation has a major part to play in increased agricultural production. After 4 years, the first 3 stages of development of ox-drawn equipment were accomplished. Aspects of local manufacture, training, extension and marketing are discussed.

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