We explore how climate, climate risk and weather affect maize intensification among smallholders in Kenya. We find that each plays an important role in maize intensification choice. The economic implications of this choice are also analyzed. We find that the share of maize area planted to hybrid seeds contributes positively to expected crop income, without increasing exposure to income variability or downside risk. The promotion of maize hybrids is potentially a valuable adaptation strategy to support the well-being of smallholder farmers, especially if these prove tolerant to a wide range of conditions.

Keywords: climate change, maize, smallholder farmer, vulnerability, Kenya
JEL classifications: D81, O13, Q12, Q18

Working Paper 60-Climate, Shocks, Weather and Maize Intensification Decisions in Rural Kenya