Factors influencing the supply of Soyabeans: an analysis for Kenya-1993-2007
In a developing country like Kenya where the per capita food production is declining while protein calorie malnutrition is increasing, Increase in Soybeans production could have a positive role to play. This is because Soybeans is more protein rich than any common vegetable or animal food and far much cheaper to produce. Soybean has been shown to promote food security and improve the living standards. The current production of animal proteins particularly milk and meat is far much lower than the existing demand, which is steadily increasing. This has led to higher pricing of the animal products leading to low consumption of animal protein amongst the Kenyan population because they are less affordable leading to increased incidences of malnutrition. The production of soybeans if taken seriously can be a lasting solution to this problem in that it is very cheap to produce, and yet very nutritious. Different varieties of soybeans grow in different conditions. It requires between 350-600 mm of rainfall annually and therefore can comfortably be grown in the semi arid zones of Kenya where land is left to lie fallow. This means that its production does not reduce the acreage of land for the conventional crops. The main objective of this study was to assess the factors that influence the supply for Soybeans in Kenya with the aim of proposing policy measures to improve supplies. The study found out that the prices of soybean and area under soybean production are significant in influencing its supply. The broad results indicate that improving the prices of soybean and hectarage under soybean production would significantly improve the quantity of soybeans supplied. Policies recommended from the findings of the study include: producer prices be made more favourable to Soybeans farmers and extensive methods of farming to be enhanced. The short run and long run elasticities of output to various variables are equal, implying that the policy impact on Soybean production will persist in to the future and have a permanent impact.