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Tropentag 2021, September 15 - 17, hybrid conference, Germany

"Towards shifting paradigms in agriculture for a healthy and sustainable future"

The Role of Sustainable Value Chain Management in Mainstreaming SCP Practices in Kenyan Horticulture Sector

Joshua Aseto, Kartika Anggraeni, Marianne Magnus-Melgar

Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Sustainable Business and Entrepreneurship (SBE), Germany


Adoption of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices by micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in agriculture contributes to higher produce yields, food security, improved livelihoods, and resilience to climate change. This notwithstanding, adoption of SCP by agricultural MSMEs in Africa is still low due to inadequate knowhow on SCPs, limited access to agri-finance, over-reliance on rain-fed production, and weak and non-transparent value chain with informal and fragmented local markets that involve myriad middlemen. This study discusses and analyses the outcomes of the EU-funded Switch Africa Green ‘Green hOrticulture At LAke Naivasha’ (GOALAN) project (2018-2021) that seeks to promote the adoption of SCP practices among MSMEs in the horticulture sector in Lake Naivasha Basin in Kenya through training and skill provision, and to improve the MSMEs access to finance, market opportunities and infrastructure. The methods of data collection used in this study include desk review, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and semi-structured interviews. The findings show that MSMEs face challenges in accessing markets due to their remote locations and lack of access to appropriate and reliable means of transportation. This poses a major challenge considering the fragility of fresh fruits and vegetables (FFVs), which can be easily damaged during transit. The challenge is exacerbated by the lack of well-maintained roads connecting production sites and markets, and lack of cooling storage to extend the life of FFVs. This has resulted in post-harvest losses, including the discarding of ‘less appealing’ FFVs. These post-harvest losses can be reduced by establishing produce aggregation hubs and strategic partnerships with key value chain actors; supporting the youth to establish centralised and well-coordinated digital marketing platforms for MSMEs; and by ensuring that MSMEs have access to simple machinery to add value to their produce. Project interventions, particularly through infrastructural and training support, have resulted in an increased capacity among MSMEs to achieve the Kenyan Standard (KS)1758 for horticulture allowing them access to markets (contract farming). However, MSMEs can only benefit from such interventions fully, if the requisite infrastructure i.e., roads, aggregation hubs, cold storage facilities, reliable means of transportation are available and functional.

Keywords: Consumption, horticulture, Kenyan, markets, MSMEs, production, sustainable, value addition, value chain

Contact Address: Joshua Aseto, Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Sustainable Business and Entrepreneurship (SBE), Hagenauer Str. 30, 42107 Wuppertal, Germany, e-mail: joshua.aseto@scp-centre.org

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