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Export Market Linkage via Gentleman's Agreement: Evidence from French Bean Marketing in Kenya


  • Kariuki, Isaac Maina
  • Gideon, Aiko Obare
  • Loy, Jens-Peter


"Gentleman's agreements" involving handshakes or promissory market access possibilities through brokers and middlemen have enabled most small farmers in Kenya to export an extensive array of fruits and vegetables. However, despite rapid expansion into these forms of market linkages, there has been a dearth of empirical information regarding the factors that such marketers consider when linking small farmers to the market. This paper uses data from a 2001 French bean farmers survey conducted in Mwea Tebere Central Kenya to evaluate household and infrastructural factors determining informal linkages for French bean marketing. Logit estimates show that irrigation equipment is a prerequisite for linkage, farm localities further from central crop collection centres and close proximity of farms to source of irrigation waters, and poor accessibility of large farms preferred by brokers in linking small farmers. The results lend credence to the importance of brokers and middlemen as an emerging institution in linking small farmers to export markets in rural regions that have poor infrastructures e.g. roads.

Suggested Citation

  • Kariuki, Isaac Maina & Gideon, Aiko Obare & Loy, Jens-Peter, 2006. "Export Market Linkage via Gentleman's Agreement: Evidence from French Bean Marketing in Kenya," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25698, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25698

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Pandey, Priyanka, 2000. "Contract choice in agriculture with joint moral hazard in effort and risk," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 303-326, December.
    2. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1981. "Qualitative Response Models: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 1483-1536, December.
    3. Tunali, Insan, 1993. "Choice of Contracts in Turkish Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 67-86, October.
    4. Tjalling Dijkstra & Matthew Meulenberg & Aad van Tilburg, 2001. "Applying marketing channel theory to food marketing in developing countries: Vertical disintegration model for horticultural marketing channels in kenya," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 227-241.
    5. Fraser McLeay & Tony Zwart, 1998. "Factors affecting choice of cash sales versus forward marketing contracts," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 299-309.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ondieki-Mwaura, Florence N. & Njoroge, Lawrence M. & Okello, Julius J. & Bahemuka, Judith M., 2013. "Determinants of participation in identified institutional arrangements in Kenya’s export French bean sector," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 160682, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).


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