Marketing system research: USAID SANREM CRSP LTRA 10
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Marketing system research is a small component of the SANREM CRSP LTRA 10 ongoing in western Kenya and south eastern Uganda. The team conducted a review of literature in marketing and agricultural development in Africa, with special reference to East Africa. In general this research led us to the view that small farms in Kenya and Uganda face daunting challenges in meeting their subsistence requirements and producing surplus crops that can respond to market demand in an ecologically sustainable fashion. This background research also led us to formulate six propositions around which we wished to organize our data collection in the context of the SANREM CRSP LTRA 10. We wanted to focus on those pertinent to the small farms that are the focus of the CAPS principles and proposals for on farm management that drive the bulk of this project. Challenges for developing alternative value chains for farms in western Kenya and south eastern Uganda include 1) policy and regulatory environments that may be punitive of small farm innovation; 2) lack of tools and technology for sensing market demand in innovative or emerging markets 3) logistics bottlenecks; 4) high post-harvest loses; 5) inadequate storage infrastructure; and sometimes 6) long-term contractual relationships, e.g., debt or production quotas, that restrict ability to create or exploit new opportunities. [Introduction]
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