Contextualized Farmers' Products Marketing Application: Case of Marigiti Market
Ndeke, Angela M
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Agriculture remains the most important economic activity in Kenya, although less than 8% of the land is used for crop and feed production. Less than 20% of the land is suitable for cultivation, of which only 12% is classified as high potential (adequate rainfall) agricultural land and about 8% is medium potential land. The rest of the land is arid or semiarid. About 80% of the work force engages in agriculture or food processing. Farming in Kenya is carried out by small producers who cultivate no more than two hectares (about five acres) using limited technology. These small farms, operated by about three million farming families, account for 75% of total production. Farmers have challenge of marketing their products due to lack of adequate information on the available markets and prices. Most farmers relay on brokers who exploit them. Due to lack of good and reliable marketing systems, some products do get spoilt or fetch very poor prices, or are lost in the market. Marigiti Market was selected as a case study in this research project, being the largest farmer's market in Kenya that deals with all types of farm products, focus was on the farmers, suppliers/traders and exporting companies. The Products marketing process was analyzed and a mobile based solution was developed using the evolutionary prototyping. Results from the application prototyping, indicate that this could be a viable solution. Farmers use SMS to sell their products and view current prices and markets, while traders use both SMS and website to market products both in local and international markets.