Are farmer organizations drivers of avocado marketing among smallholders?

The choice of marketing channels is an important farm level decision since it directly influences the farm profitability.  Researchers from University of Embu explored the question, whether choice of farmer organization offers higher profit margins across the available marketing channels. In their investigation Mr. Kelvin Karing’u, Dr. Hezron Isaboke and Dr. Samuel Ndirangu from University of Embu, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension examined the profitability of avocado marketing channels in Murang’a County, Kenya.

Empirical evidence strongly indicated that farmer marketing organizations had highest profits across the marketing outlets of KES 61.75 per kilogram of avocado while sales through brokers earned gross margin of KES 17.92 per kilogram. Other marketing channels used were; local traders with profit margin of KES 11.50 per kilogram and direct sales to market that earned a profit of KES 35.69 per kilogram. Variables such as time taken to collect avocado, and farm gate price were important determinants on choice of farmer marketing organization.

Policy recommendations drawn from the findings are; the Ministry of Agriculture and the County governments should strengthen farmer marketing institutions through offering support to various avocado groups so as to minimize sales to local traders which yields low profit. Also, there is need to improve on provision of timely information on fruits’ collection to smallholder farmers to reduce risk of loss through perishability. Lastly, there is a need to caution farmers from low prices offered by the avocado traders in the region through government agencies such as Agriculture Fisheries and Food Authority (AFFA).

This write-up is an excerpt from the article entitled “Determinants of smallholders’ choice of avocado marketing outlets and profitability in Murang’a County, Kenya” published by Springer Nature

The authors have also published another paper on smallholders’ participation in avocado export marketing accessible online using the reference link below;

Karing’u, K.N.Isaboke, H.N. and Ndirangu, S.N. (2021), “Transaction costs and participation in avocado export marketing in Murang’a County, Kenya”, Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 221-240.