An Evaluation of Market Information System of Finger Millet Farmers in Teso South District, Kenya
Marketing information system emerged as an accompanying measure to market liberalization to improve competitiveness and functioning of markets. Market information systems were intended to correct the asymmetries created by economic liberalization, give bargaining power to farmers, create a transparent open trading environment and foster an efficient market systems for all stakeholders. The absence of easily accessible market information on the part of finger millet farmers leads to lack of market transparency, low bargaining power, low and highly variable prices, high risk, low produce quality and high losses, high cost of transaction and insufficient production to satisfy demand. The study evaluates the market information system of finger millet farmers in Teso South, Kenya by comparing the different sources of market information used by finger millet farmers and assesses the factors that influence finger millet farmers’ access and use of different sources of marketing information. A questionnaire with open and closed ended questions was used to extract both qualitative and quantitative data from a randomly selected sample of 139 households growing finger millet. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression was also used to assess the factors that influenced the access and use of the sources of market information. Results show that farmers received market information from multiple Results show that farmers received market information from multiple sources. The most accessed source of market information was traders and brokers which was used by 75% of the respondents, this was followed by farmers (71%), extension agents (49%), field days (36%), radio (29%), mobile phones (25%) and transporters and newspaper both accessed by 9% of the respondents. The least accessed source of market information was KACE which provided market information to 1% of the respondents. Different socio economic factors have varied influence on the use of different market information. Integration of both ICT based sources of market information and non ICT sources is inevitable to ensure all the farmers are given the opportunity to access and use market information.