Assessment of Kenya's Domestic Horticultural Production and Marketing Systems and Lessons for the Future
After reviewing trends in the production and marketing of fresh produce for the domestic market in Kenya since 1997, this paper presents detailed information on the structure of the flow of this produce from rural areas to wholesale markets in Nairobi and from those wholesale markets to assorted retail markets. Market shares are estimated by product for geographic areas supplying Nairobi, and for each important wholesale and retail market in the city. It is found that horticultural production for the domestic market is keeping up with rural population growth but not with the much faster urban population growth. The urban wholesaling and retailing system has decentralized dramatically and with little planning over the past two decades in response to lack of investment in public market places. In the current system, all participants are subjected to high costs and poor quality, and many traders, especially but not only those in kiosks, are subject to theft and even bodily injury. Collaborative planning for new investment between city officials and farmer- and trader organizations is badly needed; positive signs of movement in this direction include a more constructive approach to kiosks and joint public/private planning for a new wholesale market outside Nairobi. As new approaches to wholesaling and retailing are considered in response to Vision 2030, the continuing importance of existing market places means that complementary improvements in these markets, at the same time that investments in new markets are being made, will have major positive effects on farmers and consumers.
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- Reardon, Thomas & Timmer, C. Peter, 2007. "Transformation of Markets for Agricultural Output in Developing Countries Since 1950: How Has Thinking Changed?," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
- Bart Minten, 2008. "The Food Retail Revolution in Poor Countries: Is It Coming or Is It Over?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 767-789.
- Tschirley, David L. & Muendo, Kavoi Mutuku & Weber, Michael T., 2004. "Improving Kenya's Domestic Horticultural Production and Marketing System: Current Competitiveness, Forces of Change, and Challenges for the Future (Volume II: Horticultural Marketing)," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 55156, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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