Improving Participation in Agricultural Commodity Markets for Smallholder Avocado Farmers in Kenya: Assessing Growth Opportunities for Women In Kandara and Marani Districts

 

Improving Participation in Agricultural Commodity Markets for Smallholder Avocado Farmers in Kenya: Assessing Growth Opportunities for Women In Kandara and Marani Districts

Date: October, 2013

Author(s): Judith Oduol, Frank Place, Dagmar Mithöfer, John Olwande, Lilian Kirimi and Mary Mathenge*

Introduction:

Well-functioning factor and product markets can provide the poor, particularly smallholder farmers and the landless, with avenues for wealth creation, thereby expediting poverty and food insecurity alleviation. Access to markets is difficult, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and for marginalized groups, since markets for agricultural inputs and outputs are in most cases missing or disorganised at best. The intensity of marginalisation is more pronounced among smallholder women farmers, because they face higher entry barriers than men in modern value chains. This study was an attempt to come up with interventions that are tailored to the needs of smallholder women farmers, with a view to improving their access to and participation in markets for high value agricultural products. In this study, we used the avocado value chain as a case study and focused on women as one of the marginalised groups. We used data collected on avocado value chains in Kandara and Marani, which exhibit export and domestic market orientations, respectively to (i) establish the level of participation of women in the two value chains; (ii) identify constraints to and opportunities for women’s participation in the value chains; (iii) examine the role of collective action in enhancing participation by women in the stages of the value chains; and, (iv) identify prospects for growth at the stages of the value chain, such as institutional, technological, financial and market innovations  that can be harnessed to improve women’s participation.

Improving Participation in Agricultural Commodity Markets for Smallholder Avocado Farmers in Kenya: Assessing Growth Opportunities for Women In Kandara and Marani Districts