Market research is crucial for businesses and organizations, enabling them to better understand their industry, market, and customers. However, market research should go beyond general information about the market and competition. It should take into account the volumes of production, quality of products, and consistency of supply and demand to help businesses make informed decisions.
Smallholder farmers in Kenya often struggle to produce the volume and quality of crops required by local and global markets due to limited access to finance and poor infrastructure, such as inadequate storage and transport facilities, leading to post-harvest losses of up to 50% for crops like traditional vegetables which makes it difficult for farmers to access markets and earn a sustainable income.
Market research should take into account the volume, quality, and consistency of supply and demand.
Another significant challenge in the agribusiness sector is consistency of supply and demand. Farmers may struggle to maintain consistent levels of production due to factors such as weather conditions, pests and diseases, and limited access to inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, demand for produce often fluctuates seasonally or due to market changes, making it difficult for farmers to plan and maintain steady income.
By addressing these challenges and promoting sustainable production and marketing practices, we can help farmers in Kenya and across East Africa to increase their volume and quality of produce, while also creating a more consistent and reliable supply of nutritious foods for local and global markets.
One example of our work in this area is our partnership with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Through this partnership, we supported businesses and innovators in Kenya to develop business plans. Some of the value chains we have worked on include traditional African vegetables, peanuts and nut processing, bananas, dairy and poultry. By working closely with these businesses, we have been able to help them identify market opportunities and develop strategies to take advantage of them.
Additionally, quality remains a significant challenge in the agribusiness sector in East Africa. Many smallholder farmers lack access to information on quality standards and struggle to meet local and global standards. As a result, they often receive low prices for their produce. EAMDA has worked with farmers to provide training on quality standards and certifications, enabling them to meet market demands and increase their revenues.
Lastly, consistency in supply and demand remains a significant challenge for agribusinesses in East Africa, leading to market inefficiencies and lower prices for farmers. EAMDA has implemented programs to link smallholder farmers to markets and agro-processors, improving supply chain coordination and reducing market inefficiencies.
One project we are particularly proud of is the Kenya Bovine Genetics Market Study and Strategic Plan Development, which we conducted on behalf of the United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Nairobi. This study mapped out the bovine genetics supply chain in Kenya, including locally produced and imported genetics, taking into consideration key market drivers and the country’s legal framework governing import regulatory requirements and tariffs. Our analysis helped U.S. agriculture experts and businesses as well as Kenyan-based bovine genetics associations and distributors, to better understand market opportunities and challenges in the sector.
Addressing volume, quality, and consistency challenges is critical in achieving sustainable growth for agribusinesses in East Africa. At EAMDA, we take a groundbreaking approach to market research that tackles these challenges head-on. By working with smallholder farmers, and businesses, we have witnessed results in transformed business operations from farm to fork that contribute to inclusive economic development.