Characterising Competition in the Market for Agricultural Inputs in Kenya

Research Note
Published on 12 July 2023


Poor product quality plagues developing country markets, especially for goods like agricultural inputs where quality is only revealed after a farmer has used them. We focus on the market for agricultural inputs, since these are experience goods that are consumed infrequently. Further, consumers’ perceptions about product quality are important drivers of demand. We study a new quality-focused chain entering rural Kenyan markets, with shop locations randomised over time. We collected two rounds of data from surrounding areas, including a firm census of all agro-dealers, a survey of agro-dealers, and quality assessments from mystery shopping. In this research note, we explore our firm data to characterise the firms operating in these markets and check our assumptions about quality concerns.


Joshua Deutschmann

University of Chicago

Emilia Tjernström

Monash University