A market survey conducted by Farm Concern International (FCI) revealed that there are huge market opportunities for green grams and tomatoes within Eastern and Nairobi regions.
At the inception of the Semi-Arid Region Commercialization Programme, FCI with support from World Vision Australia conducted a market assessment that was aimed at identifying market driven opportunities and viable enterprises for the communities. The survey revealed vast market opportunities in the domestic informal markets for pulses, vegetables and fruits. Based on the market assessment findings, green grams (Ks20 variety), tomatoes (Onnex and Coj Corazon varieties) and mangoes (apple) were prioritized for commercialization in Kalawa Integrated programme Area (IPA) while in Mwala IPA, watermelon (sukari F1), tomatoes (Onnex and Coj Corazon varieties), mangoes (Apple variety) and green grams (Ks20 variety) were prioritized.
A total of 1,899 farmers in Mwala and Kalawa Area Development Programmes (ADPs) were grouped into 10 commercial villages (CVs), trained on improved production methods and linked to several formal and informal markets. Among the formal markets were Mulleys Supermarkets, T-Tot Hotel, Eastland Hotel, Shammah Hotel and Baraka Hyper while the informal markets included: Machakos, Wamunyu, Wote, Kalawa and Thika Markets.
Marketing strategies and production schedules were also developed for the prioritized commercialization crops (tomatoes, green grams, watermelons and onions) in order to enable the farmers have a higher production during the off peak months. This led to an average increase of prices of green grams and tomatoes by 30-50%. Consequently, farmers were able to sell green grams at an average price of Kshs 70 per Kg (AUD 0.91 per Kg) up from Kshs 52.00 per Kg (AUDs 0.67 per Kg).
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond