From the perspective of national food security, strengthening domestic rice production is an urgent issue for Kenya. For this purpose, it is helpful to consider varieties that generate novel and competitive values different from those of conventional varieties. Recently, domestic japonica rice, which is now being distributed, has become an attractive variety with a high market price and its production is expected to increase. Although it is competitive and promising as a crop for small-scale farmers, the production stage costs and benefits are not clear. Thus, a study was conducted to perform a cost–benefit analysis of japonica rice in comparison to conventional rice at the production stage and evaluate strategies for strengthening the domestic production of rice. We conducted an experimental cultivation of japonica rice in the Mwea region, Kenya, where japonica rice is produced. As a result, although production costs for japonica rice are higher than costs for conventional varieties (24.46 KSh/kg versus 22.63 KSh/kg), when a high-yielding variety is grown (6.44 tons/ha for japonica rice compared to 6.07 tons/ha for conventional rice), a larger net profit can be obtained (65.54 KSh/kg versus 32.37 KSh/kg). We believe that initiatives to improve difficulties at the production stage would make the production of both japonica rice and conventional rice more economically viable and facilitate strengthening of the overall domestic rice production.
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