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A rapid assessment conducted by Farm Concern International (FCI) reveals that the proportion of farmers who were in the Kenya Horticultural Competitiveness Programme (KHCP) longer had greater access to institutional markets compared to those who were in the programmes for a lesser period. These farmers were able to sell more bananas, onions, sweet potatoes and tomatoes to institutions, an indication that access to market information and linkages among the farmers was gaining traction.
Additionally, the rapid assessment results showed that the locally created and available sources of income are important sources of capital that farmers use for purchase of agro-inputs under the KHCP project. The assessment established that savings from the sale of farm produce and family income were the key sources of financing for agro inputs such as planting material including seed or vegetative, fertilizer, manure, pesticides and fungicides (Figure 1). Funds borrowed from the farmer groups was also an important source of financing, and lesser mentioned by farmers was credit financing from input suppliers and financial institutions.
Sampled households in the survey were asked how they sell their commodities; majority 82.4%, mentioned selling their commodities collectively while 17.6% sell individually. The most common buyer is the end consumer who buys from all categories of crops, followed by broker, retailer, wholesaler, institutions and processor. TAVs, Kales, Cabbages and bananas were sold mostly at the farm gate while Irish potatoes, were mainly traded by brokers.
Approximately 66% of all the targeted value chains are sold through the local market, 61% through the farm gate and 11% through the town market. Out of these sales, 79% are by end consumers, 32% retailers, and 30% by brokers, 22% wholesalers, 8% institutions and 1% by processors.
As Commercial Villages are strengthened, they are able to meet market demands for both quality and quantity. FCI has facilitated the development of sustainable partnerships that will ensure continuity of smallholder commercialization. Partnerships have been established with the Ministry of Agriculture and other NGOs who have trained farmers on agronomic practices and use of improved seed and planting materials, fertilizer/manures, pesticides, inputs’ usage, and village seed multiplication.
FCI VISION :Commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond.