Small-Scale producers and traders market supply chain for fresh vegetables: A case study of Lusaka
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This study was undertaken to examine the fresh vegetable market supply chain for small scale producers and traders. Specific objectives were to determine producer and trader characteristics; identify the marketing channels; establish the determinants of farmer's supply choices; determine the market margins and the benefits and constraints. Questionnaires were developed and pre-tested in another market. Trader's register was used as a sampling frame for a random selection of a sample of 117 respondents. A n upstream interview approach (from retailers to producers) was applied. The age of respondents was between 18 and 67 years, 53% males and 47% females. Mean education was 6, 8 and 9 years for retailers, wholesalers and farmers respectively. Main source of vegetables for retailers is within Soweto. Modes of transport are the hired light trucks and wheelbarrows for retailers. Storage facilities are provided in the markets by private individuals at a fee. Membership to various associations and groups was poor and very few members appreciated services obtained from their associations. Retail marketing margins rage from 17% to 45%, wholesale was between 6% and 23% and farmers were calculated between 39% and 64%. There is an inverse relationship in the market margins between farmers and retailers with the change in market prices. This signals conflict in price setting and entry of brokers to trade for the relatively inexperienced farmer at a commission. Use of brokers by farmers is influenced by age, level of education, location and hectares cultivated. Marketing is constrained by lack of trading spaces, produce damage and price fluctuations. There is very low institutional support for the market actors and lack of small business loans. In order to stabilize producer prices selling of vegetables at Soweto market should be decentralized by guiding and promoting sales from other markets around Lusaka. There is need to publicize both input and produce prices through public television sets available in the markets at selected hours, strengthen marketeer's associations and encourage public and private sector partnerships in fi-esh vegetable trading. Improve conditions at Soweto market and open up the drainage system to provide better habitable conditions.
- Agriculture