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How private enterprise organized agricultural markets in Kenya


  • Jaffee, Steven M.


Does liberalization of agricultural markets and an expanded role for the private sector result in a competitive market structure in Africa? The author empirically investigates the organization and development of a dynamic African export-oriented sector - Kenya's horticultural exports - in which the private sector has long had a dominant role. The author highlights the sector's impressive pattern of growth over the past two decades and examines the characteristics of participating private firms, the competitive pattern among those firms, and the institutional means by which they procure raw materials for processing and export. He finds that despite the Kenyan government's direct investments in processing and trading activities and its application of regulations and targeted support measures to strengthen the role of Kenyan Africans in the horticultural trade, most of this trade remains controlled by foreign-owned companies or members of Kenya's small minority Asian and European communities. This paper also examines the extent and forms of competition in this sub-sector and reviews the wide range of institutional arrangements adopted by private firms to coordinate their own processing and marketing activities with the farm-level production of horticultural commodities and raw materials.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaffee, Steven M., 1992. "How private enterprise organized agricultural markets in Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 823, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:823

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Geertz, Clifford, 1978. "The Bazaar Economy: Information and Search in Peasant Marketing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 28-32, May.
    2. Svedberg, Peter, 1991. "The Export Performance of Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 549-566, April.
    3. Marsden, K., 1990. "African Entrepreneurs; Pioneers of Development," Papers 9, World Bank - International Finance Corporation.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nagarajan, Geetha & Meyer, Richard L., 1995. "Incorporating finance into a modified subsector framework: The fertilizer subsector in The Gambia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 1115-1127, July.


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