What you need to know:
- MARKUP (Market Access Upgrade Program) is an initiative funded by the EU
- Their aim is to increase the market for the value chains that make up the agribusiness sector
- Research reveals that the average age of a farmer in Kenya is 55-65 years
MARKUP (Market Access Upgrade Program) is an initiative funded by the EU. Their aim is to increase the market for the value chains that make up the agribusiness sector. Across 12 counties, they have interest in fruits, herbs, vegetables, nuts, spices and chillies. Makueni County is one such county where mango farming for export is a success. 95% of farmers are small scale, an acre being the average size of land used.
Mr Maina Kairuri, the national coordinator of MARKUP says, “Through organising the farmers in farmers’ groups, it is easier to train them on methods of quality produce and help them adapt to newer forms of technology.”
He added that, “there is a chance for farmers to share experiences, an increase in their bargaining power and it also becomes easier for the government to track and collect data.”
Research reveals that the average age of a farmer in Kenya is 55-65 years. The older generation are reluctant to surrender their land to youth posing a challenge when it comes to adopting new forms of technology.
In Makueni County, Mr Anthony Kimeu who grows mangoes for export marvels at the novelty of cooperatives. Mr Kimeu indicated that farmers get to share their own experiences and learn from each other. He added that through training by MARKUP the farmers have adapted GAPs (Good Agricultural
Practices). Lastly, he adds that farmers’ groups increase in their collective bargaining power.
MARKUP also provides further insight on group dynamics and good governance within said farmers’ groups. This in turn promotes cohesiveness and longevity ensuring a firm foundation for the achievement of short and long term objectives.
The National Coordinator, Mr Kairuri says MARKUP also advocates for the inclusion of youth and women
Into mainstream agribusiness activities, “Where young people and women are involved in mainstream
Agribusiness activities, they have a means of direct income, improved standards of living and enhancement in their levels of happiness. “
Speaking on the Mazao Talks Podcast, Mr Kairuri underlines to the youth that there are plenty opportunities within horticulture to grow, process, innovate and earn a living all across the value chains.