Why African farmers are poor By Benson Kathuri (Standard)
Most smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are marginalised because they do not have access to organised markets.
A workshop organised by the World Bank in Dar-es-Salaam last week heard that the farmers relied on informal markets that were inefficient, unreliable and middlemen-dominated.
“Most smallholder farmers, and particularly the rural poor, do not participate in these formal value chains,” said a survey report by Mr John Lynam, during the workshop attended by agricultural experts from six African countries, including Kenya.
“Rather, they are limited to informal markets for such commodities as raw milk, unrefined sunflower oil, or a few bags of maize grain,” he said.
The report, Value Chains, Markets and Innovation in African Agriculture, says the farmers also lagged behind in technology use that would help them add value to their produce and fetch higher prices in the domestic and export markets. . .
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