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Mbatia OLE. "The assessment of marketing of horticultural produce in Kenya."; 1984. Abstract

The main concern of this paper is to assess the marketing of horticultural produce in Kenya. In 1950 the Horticultural Cooperative Union (HCU) was organized to help mostly European farmers to market fruit and vegetables. The HCU has been faced with some financial problems, mainly due to loss in customers and inactive members. The HCU shares about 15 to 20 % of the total Kenya exports. There are some producers-exporters specialized in exporting flowers and some commodities like French beans, pineapples and capsicum. The climatical conditions and ecological zones are good, enabling many fruit and vegetables to be produced in Kenya. The major export products are flowers, pineapples, French beans, capsicum and fresh fruits. The trade channels are mainly directed to the British market, which is dominant with a share of 50.64 % in 1982 and European markets (mainly West Germany, having a market share of 15.5 % in 1982 and France with a market share of 12.20 % for the same year 1982). In 1974 the main export to West Germany was pineapple which amounted to 24.9 % of all fresh produce imported from Kenya, second was capsicums with 10.8 %. Kenya fresh fruit and vegetables show a high demand on European markets. This market is a very competitive one. The countries in the Mediterranean region and in the tropical equatorial part of the African Continent pose a challenging position to this market. There is free entry and free exit to this market. When Kenya wants to have a sizable share of this market also in the future, it has to maintain a high quality at a reasonable price. This means that quality control, proper packaging and efficient transportation to the market have to be improved. The smallholders need to be supported when entering the market and need close advisory in order to supply high quality produce. Kenya should be willing to invest in areas like market research, market intelligence and export promotion. In addition the local consumption of fruit and vegetables should be encouraged as a part of the National Food Policy Program.

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Mogaka VM;, Mbatia OLE;, Nzuma J. "Feasibility of Biofuel Production in Kenya: The Case of Jatropha."; 2012. Abstract

This paper evaluates the potential of Jatropha curcas Linnaeus (Jatropha) as an alternative source of energy for rural households. The plant is said to have potential to diversify rural incomes, reclaim unproductive lands, reduce importation of fossil fuels, and consequently accumulation of green house gases in the atmosphere. A cost benefit analysis was employed to evaluate the feasibility of producing Jatropha as a biodiesel feedstock in relation to other crops in Kwale district. An IRR of 11 percent, BCR of 0.62 and a NPV of (28267.56) showed that production of Jatropha is not feasible at the moment. However we conclude that the plant has a potential to achieve its intended purpose if there is coordination in research and development along the Jatropha value chain and if technical and financial support is accorded to actors at the production level of the chain.

Mbatia OLE. "Financial analysis of production of French beans in Kenya (Phaseolus vulgaris)."; 1984. Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze the production costs of French beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and to assess the financial gain to farmers. The major growers in Kenya are small farmers. The French beans are grown mainly for export purpose and are produced largely near the city of Nairobi where the altitude is between 1 000 and 2 000 meters above sea level and where soil is well drained and rich in organic matter. French beans are among the major horticultural crops produced in Kenya for export. The export season of French beans is from November to April. The farmers visited used irrigation water for production. About 50 mm of water per week was applied using an overhead or furrow system of irrigation. The overhead system of irrigation, however, was comonly used. The farming of French beans is labor and capital intensive. The costing of the inputs such as fertilizers, seed, labor for land preparation and harvesting were estimated. Between 20 to 25 kg of seed per acre (49.4 – 61.8 kg/ha) was used, costing about Kshs 32 for 60 kgs; land preparation was about Kshs 500 per acre (Kshs 1 235.5/ ha). The price for fertilizer for one acre was Kshs 500 (Kshs 1 235.5/ha). The total variable cost was about Kshs 4 670 per acre (Kshs 11 539.6/ha). Gross margin per acre was 16 530 Kshs (Kshs 1 309.6/ha). The estimated labor input on large, mechanized farm for French beans amounts to 3 283 mh/ha. The harvesting, which include picking, selecting and packing approximately 1 300 cartons for export required the highest labor with 3 030 mh/ha; canning, 100 mh/ha; irrigation, 80 mh/ha with 20 applications; weeding, 35 mh/ha; spraying, 14 mh/ha; top dressing, 9 mh/ha and planting, 7 mh/ha. The average yield was between 600 to 1 000 cartons of 3 kg/acre (1 482.6 – 2 471.0 cartons/ha). The price at farm gate is Kshs 21 per carton of 3 kgs. Some of the small farmers had direct access to the export markets but the majority of them had to sell to the exporters. A good majority of the farmers estimated a profit of about 25 per cent but considered employment it provides for them and the rural people a very important benefit.

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Mbatia OLE. "The marketing system for horticultural crops in Kenya."; 1981. Abstract

The basic problem of farming in developing countries is the lack of proper incentives for farmers. Prices paid for farmers' produce are too low, even to cover operational costs. The horticultural crops are much affected due to an unstructured market, and the Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) has not effectively assisted small-scale farmers. This paper evaluates the marketing systems for horticultural crops in relation to major ingredients affecting marketing. These variables are: the products to be marketed such as french beans, avocados, pineapples, mangoes; the place of the market and the prices to be paid. Some policies which could be adopted to improve the marketing of horticultural crops are considered.

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Mogaka VM;, Iiyama M;, Mbatia OLE;, Jonathan N. "Reality or romantism? Potential of Jatropha to solve energy crisis and improve livelihoods."; 2010. Abstract

This paper evaluates the potential of Jatropha curcas Linnaeus (Jatropha) as an alternative source of energy for rural households. The plant is said to have potential to diversify rural incomes, reclaim unproductive lands, reduce importation of fossil fuels, and consequently accumulation of green house gases in the atmosphere. A cost benefit analysis was employed to evaluate the feasibility of producing Jatropha as a biodiesel feedstock in relation to other crops in Kwale district. An IRR of 11 percent, BCR of 0.62 and a NPV of (28267.56) showed that production of Jatropha is not feasible at the moment. However we conclude that the plant has a potential to achieve its intended purpose if there is coordination in research and development along the Jatropha value chain and if technical and financial support is accorded to actors at the production level of the chain.

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