SECTION B - MARKETING AND EXPORT OF HORTICULTURAL CROPS - SOME EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS IN MARKETING HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTS UNDER EAST AFRICAN CONDITIONS
Observations indicate that there is no lack of ideas or suggestions from many sources, proposing what could and should be done to develop horticulture. When this material is analysed, however, very few projects include answers to planning phases such as market studies, production feasibility studies and economic appraisals.
When consideration is given to the shortage of officers with horticultural experience in policy-making governmental positions in most African countries, the presentation of such "unfinished" horticultural ideas seems sometimes alarmingly irresponsible, particularly since they often concern the African grower who is eager to take up new production lines. The grower is seldom in a position to assess the feasibility of such recommendations, but he is likely to bear financial loss from unproductive schemes. From the professional horticultural standpoint, such failures are dangerous since they are likely to create a false image within the farming community and may possibly prevent the implementation of sound horticultural developments.
In addition to factors such as: a) lack of trained manpower, b) limited production experience with different horticultural crops, and c) problems in obtaining suitable plant material due to quarantaine regulations, the marketing complex for horticultural products, which are mainly of a perishable nature, very often creates the major obstacle to the success of horticultural enterprises in East Africa.