Journal of
Development and Agricultural Economics

  • Abbreviation: J. Dev. Agric. Econ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9774
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDAE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 551

Full Length Research Paper

Vertical market linkages between smallholder African indigenous vegetables farmers and other market actors in Bungoma County

Scolastica Nanjala Nambafu
  • Scolastica Nanjala Nambafu
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management, Egerton University, P. O. Box 536, 20115, Egerton, Njoro, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Hillary Bett
  • Hillary Bett
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management, Egerton University, P. O. Box 536, 20115, Egerton, Njoro, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Kenneth Waluse Sibiko
  • Kenneth Waluse Sibiko
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Maseno University. P. O. Box 3275-40100, Kisumu, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 06 May 2023
  •  Accepted: 09 June 2023
  •  Published: 30 June 2023

Abstract

The study aimed at determining the vertical market linkages that exist between smallholder African indigenous vegetable (AIV) farmers and other actors in Bungoma County, Kenya. Multistage sampling was employed to identify a sample of 384 respondents. Primary data collection was accomplished through observations and interviews using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using STATA. The results indicated that African nightshade was the most commonly produced AIV at 73.9%, followed by cowpeas at 68.8%, spider plant at 63.3%, jute mallow at 34.4%, and vegetable amaranth at 21.9%. Smallholder AIV farmers had links to various market actors such as retailers, wholesalers, processors, and final consumers. However, these farmers also faced several challenges including transaction uncertainties, limited access to market information, and high transaction costs. Thus, there was a need for vertical market linkages in order to increase the competitiveness of AIV producers in the market. Vertical market linkages in Bungoma County mainly consist of producer-final consumer (98.7%), producer-retailer (91.7%), producer-processor (29.2%), and producer-wholesaler (19.8%) linkages. The producer-retailer and other vertical market linkages were predominantly informal, encompassing 94% of the total. Farmer-processor linkages, however, had a higher proportion of formal (11.9%) relationships. AIVs are popular in local Kenyan cuisine and this provides a major source of income for smallholder farmers. The informality of the relationship between farmers and market actors is a time-saving and less-complex option. Establishing community-based organizations and associations can improve access to formal markets and facilitate sourcing in large quantities at regular intervals.

Key words: Vertical market linkage, African indigenous Vegetables, smallholder farmers, market actors.