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Building an Avocado Cluster in Central Kenya

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Sep 11, 2012

 

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Building an Avocado Cluster in Central Kenya

Small-holder farmers in the developing world have traditionally been locked out of high value markets due to the familiar challenges of poor quality, small volumes, and inconsistent supply. The spot-market broker has typically serviced this sector, however with low prices and an unreliable buyer, farmers have been left with little incentive to assume risk and upgrade production. This has fuelled the endless cycle of poverty.
In Kenya, through facilitation of a pilot business linkage with a lead firm, avocado farmers were able to produce in bulk, access markets, and obtain much needed services to improve production. The enhanced transactions and improved prices had a demonstrator effect within the sector, stimulating new entrants, investment, and the emergence of a commercial support services industry. This paper details the path
undertaken by the USAID-funded Kenya Business Development Services Program (KBDS) in facilitating emergence of the Kenyan avocado cluster while building more inclusive markets for rural smallholder
farmers.

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