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Standardization by converting produce quantities to a standard unit, say the kilogram for more effective pricing by smallholders

Empowering smallholders to convert farm produce to a standard unit (kg) at farm level to have more effective pricing and get better prices

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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

The initiative involves conducting a market survey in the target area with the aim of obtaining the weight in KG of the various farm produce sold in the local markets. Weights will be obtained for fruits, vegetables and other semi-processed farm produce such as dried roots (cassava). Once the weights are obtained, this is matched up with the prevailing prices at the time. the survey will then be repeated quarterly to cater for price fluctuation and weight variation over time. The end product is a documentation of time sensitive standardized (to KG) prices for farm produce. This initiative intends to address the concern of arbitrary pricing of farm produce that more often than not is to the detriment of the smallholder farmer. This will also guide the farmer on the correct quantities to produce for the market. This is inline with the envisioned paradigm shift from subsistence to business oriented agriculture where we PRODUCE FOR THE MARKET and not PRODUCE TO THE MARKET.

WHO BENEFITS?

The beneficiaries will be threefold: 1. The main beneficiaries will be the smallholder farmers who will be empowered with information enabling them make better production and pricing (marketing) decisions 2. The buyers of the farm produce will also benefit from the easier and more effective pricing of produce 3. Other stakeholders including government will have better data to utilize during planning and implementation of their extension programmes

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

I intend to implement this initiative in Kabondo-Kasipul sub-county of Homabay county in Kenya. However, the information from the final report will be useful on as-is basis or as a guide for other agricultural areas in Kenya.

ARE YOU IMPLEMENTING IN AN ELIGIBLE COUNTRY?

  • Yes

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.
Smallholder farmers face many challenges during marketing. For example, vegetables are sold in bunches (leafy vegetables such as kales, nightshade and spider flower), group (tomato, bulb onion, potato) and based on size (most fruits such as water melon, mangoes and pumpkin) My idea involves coming up with standard units of measuring farm produce for more effective pricing and marketing. It will involve moving around the major local markets and taking the weights of such farm produce as described above. At the end of it all, i intend to find out and share for example; how many mangoes, tomato or potato make a kilo? Does this vary over seasons (storage conditions, temperature effect etc). how much would a kilo of a particular product be at a particular time of the year? This information will enable the small holders, with available technologies such as irrigation and greenhouse technology, be able to make wise decisions on what to produce, how much to produce and when to produce it. Such decisions empower the farmer and make him/her a more influential player in the value chain as he/she will produce only what they are able to sell. This will also enable the smallholder farmers project their expected income and reduce the level of uncertainty usually associated with farming. At the end of the survey, this information will be shared to all stakeholders in meetings throughout the target area.

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Spam
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Team

Hi Wycliffe, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Spam
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Team

Hi

Sorry I do not have any appropriate pictures for this post.

Spam
Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Wycliffe,

The Amplify team and our experts have some feedback for you:

Have you done any gender analysis to demonstrate economic empowerment of women farmers in particular? Has it been tested with possible buyers who would be interested in standardising supply? What does the Government extension service think of this idea?

What have your conversations been with the range of beneficiaries and stakeholders in this initiative? How have they reacted and have you incorporated their ideas and challenges into this concept?

Given that the Kenya Bureau of Standards is the sole authority charged with the commission to establish common measures, as set forth in chapter 496 of the Laws of Kenya, how will your idea address this issue?

Looking forward to learning more! 

Spam
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Team

Thanks for this input. I will attempt to address some of your concerns
1. I haven't done any gender analysis as described above. This is because I expect my findings to be gender neutral in their application.  The targeted consumers of my findings include both men and women.
2. As an extension officer I have discussions regularly with agricultural stakeholders especially farmers and rural traders. One of the challenges they have faced has been the challenge of market information. Particularly knowing exactly what quantities they sell across production seasons. The Ministry of Agriculture has demonstrated benefits of weighing and selling known quantities of crop during market surveys and other fora.  I intend to move this forward by documenting the findings of a participatory survey.
3. During my work, I have engaged with various regulatory bodies including KEPHIS. Findings of this study are not to regulate or even enforce standard packaging. Rather to guide farmers and traders on pricing decisions in the market that are mutually beneficial. The findings seek to minimise information asymmetry that is a major cause of exploitation.

Spam
Photo of wekesa zab
Team

Hello Wyclife.. Wekesa here. am super excited to see you ready to learn HCD and apply it in your work.  Kindly  do signup for the event . we will have a session on Design thinking and you will be able to meet my team and other amazing people http://www.c4dlab.ac.ke/2016/03/lab-to-hold-youth-innovation-forum-ahead-of-nairobi-innovation-week-in-august/ .. i also want to interest you in MFARM ... they it is certainly an interesting casestudy ..  http://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/magri-design-toolkit .. this are afew resources to inspire you in your work. kindly reach out and let me know how best i can support you .. 

Spam
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Team

Hi Zablon. I appreciate your sentiments. However i am not sure I follow your contribution. I have followed the links and am not sure how it helps towards carrying out my intended survey.

Spam
Photo of wekesa zab
Team

Hi wycliffe.. MFarm empowers Kenya's farmers with price transparency and market acces : http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-06/21/mfarm ... am interesting you in people working in that space.. and posssible tools to get secondary information .. thought you might be interested in meeting other people who are working around this space to get feedback. How do you intend to reach your intended sample with the survey? are you open to use or include a mix of other tools beyond just surveys?  i shared afew resources that i feel might inspire your journey 

Spam
Photo of WYCLIFFE
Team

My survey will initially be focussed on a subcounty but will then pan out to cover the entire county of Homa Bay.
I have noticed that various sites and websites give price information that is very useful. However, from my experience in the field this is not sufficient. For example of what use is the information that 1kg of tomatoes costs Kshs. 60.00 or that a 1kg of Orange Fleshed sweet potato costs Kshs. 15 when the farmer has no information on how many pieces constitute a kg.
My survey intends to provide this information that can then complement what is already available in terms of raw farm produce prices.