The Semi- Arid Region Commercialization Programme implemented by World Vision Kenya and Farm Concern International with support from World Vision Australia has enabled over 1,899 small holder farmers in Mwala and Kalawa record a price increase of up to 73 % for green grams. The prices of green grams increased from an average of USD 0.61 (KES 52.00) in April 2013 to USD 1.05 (KES. 90) per Kg in June 2014 in Kalawa as a result of improved production methods, collective action and market linkages promoted by Farm Concern International.
The Market Opportunity Analysis Report (FCI, 2013) revealed that smallholder farmers in Mwala and
Kalawa are faced with the weakness of growing mixed varieties of green grams in their farms. The mixed varieties of green grams (N26 and KS20) fetch lower prices in the market as compared to the pure varieties. Informal traders within the key markets especially Machakos town and Nyamakima Market in Nairobi County prefer KS20 variety of green grams whose demand is 7,441 Metric tonnes per annum.
The marketing systems in Mwala and Kalawa were also disorganized leading to high exploitation of farmers by brokers who purchased the produce from farmers and sold to traders in the local markets. However, through the Programme, capacity building interventions were conducted and farmers were trained to grow pure green grams variety of KS20.
Business partnerships between the formal markets (Eastland Hotel, Shammah Hotel and Mulleys supermarket) and informal traders were established leading to a stable demand for green grams. The small holder farmers, through the established commercial villages are now able to do scheduled production of green grams, bulk them and sell during the off peak season (December to July) to informal traders in Machakos and Masii market based on the market information provided.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond