K. Nowakunda, D. Ngambeki, W. Tushemereirwe
Smallholder farming, characteristic of banana (Musa spp.) production systems in Uganda presents significant challenges with regard to market access. Small-scale farmers are scattered in villages and not organized. Often, they are unable to meet requirements of larger players in the value chain due to the incompatibility of used production and marketing methods. Small-scale and scattered farmers are unable to engage in formal trade which often requires the use of invoices and receipts, assured variety, quantity and quality of products. As a result, smallholder farmers have been locked out of organized lucrative markets, while conditioning them to selling their produce through an exploitative chain of agents. This has further led to very low farm-gate prices, yet, consumer prices are very high. However, it is hypothesized that opportunities exist to transform Ugandan small-scale banana production into a profitable business if farmers were facilitated to organize themselves into networked groups/associations through which they could link to other organizations and institutions for a variety of services and collectively market their produce. In this study, working through networked groups and a consortium of other private and public organizations/institutions, the farmers were able to: develop and maintain a market-information system; access wholesale markets which offer better prices than middlemen; inputs via bulk purchase; access extension services; improve crop management including pest disease management; and in-field fruit-quality control to obtain market-quality bananas. Similar agronomic practices within groups and selling directly to bulk buyers resulted in better products and facilitated collective marketing which has resulted in farmers margins rising from 20 to 50%.
Nowakunda, K., Ngambeki, D. and Tushemereirwe, W. (2010). INCREASING SMALL-SCALE FARMERS' COMPETITIVENESS IN BANANA (MUSA SPP.) PRODUCTION AND MARKETING. Acta Hortic. 879, 759-766
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.879.82
collective marketing, groups, innovation systems, market information, value chains

Acta Horticulturae