Machinery Adoption and Its Effect on Maize Productivity among Smallholder Farmers in Western Kenya: Evidence from the Chisel Harrow Tillage Practice

Edwin Mumah

Institute of Agricultural Economics and Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China

Yangfen Chen

Institute of Agricultural Economics and Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China

Yu Hong

Institute of Agricultural Economics and Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China

Dickson Okello

Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management, Egerton University, P.O. Box 536, Njoro, Kenya


Received: 15 November 2023; Received in revised form: 25 December 2023; Accepted: 26 December 2023; Published: 11 January 2024

Copyright © 2024 Edwin Mumah, Yangfen Chen, Yu Hong, Dickson Okello. Published by Nan Yang Academy of Sciences Pte. Ltd.

Creative Commons LicenseThis is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License.


A major component of contemporary agriculture is machinery. Nonetheless, in Kenya and other African nations, the rate of adoption of agricultural machinery remains quite low. Understanding the fundamental causes and their impacts on agricultural output is crucial. Using data collected from a household survey of 1,499 farmers in Western Kenya, this study employed the endogenous switching regression model to examine the use of chisel harrows and their effects on maize production. Results show that the adoption of the chisel harrow was positively impacted by factors such as farm size, credit accessibility, gender, extension contact, and education attainment, while factors such as age and market proximity had a negative impact. The yield per hectare was higher for adopters than for non-adopters. According to the counterfactual analysis results, those who utilized chisel harrow tools were able to achieve a higher yield (1512 kg/ha) than they would have if they had not used the equipment (1099 kg/ha). The average maize yield per hectare increased by 413 kg and 217 kg for adopters and non-adopters, respectively, when chisel harrows were used. It is concluded that while training and field demonstrations may also be held to increase farmers’ understanding of the benefits of the chisel harrow, encouraging farmers to adopt the tool has the potential to improve low production in the surveyed regions.

Keywords: Machinery; Chisel harrow; Endogenous switching regression model; Maize productivity


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