For the last 12 years, Farm Concern International, FCI has been in the heart of the traditional informal markets studying and facilitating markets access with evidence based inbuilt digitization process. FCI is facilitating informal market access and trade on behalf of several international actors with a focus on multi-value chains. FCI is digitizing these informal markets for the purpose of building efficiency, undertaking market access and enhancing partnerships with formal companies. Informal Markets are extremely complex and highly organized marketing systems that have evolved over several years across Africa and account for 90% of farm-gate trade but have remained traditional and informal though doing business worth billions of dollars across Africa. They are tough, rough and hard- hitting systems that have surprisingly stabilized with minimal infrastructure, amidst weak policy and limited technical support. We all owe respect to these traditional self-driven systems; they are survivor markets and have weathered several economic shocks. 


Is getting brokers out of the value chain really addressing the real problems?

According to a potato cost driver analysis in Tanzania by Farm Concern International under the Regional Seed-Farmer-Market-Consumer Integrated Value Chain Development Programme referred to as the SeFaMaCo Programme, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia, brokerage fee accounts for 1% of the total cost incurred by wholesaler aggregators. Brokers are agents who act on behalf of the wholesalers and can easily be confused for wholesalers since they are more active in negotiations along value chains. Brokers have for a long time been blamed by smallholder farmers as the biggest beneficiaries from proceeds accrued from their commodities. However, the study revealed that Brokers are victims of the inefficiencies of the trading systems...Read More

Transport is chocking Wholesaler Aggregators Business turning them into Value Chain losers

Transport fee remains the highest banana cost driver for informal wholesaler aggregators accounting for 52% of the total cost. This can be attributed to the poor road infrastructure especially within Commercial Villages and the fact that most buyers don’t own transport means thus hire vehicles which are charged at relatively high prices since most service providers know they are desperate for their services. Transport cost is followed by brokerage commission at almost half-24% which is as a result of the scattered sourcing especially where buyers source from individual farmers where there is no collective action hence farmers do not sell their produce in Groups. The least cost driver is market cess-1% followed closely by administration cost at 3% of the total cost...Read More 


Informal Wholesale Markets Summary in Coastal Kenya

The profiling of the informal wholesale markets across the Kenya’s coastal region has revealed numerous opportunities for smallholder farmers to engage with buyers. The annual market size for assorted commodities across six major wholesale informal markets is USD 45,615,797 facilitated by 2,213 wholesalers. Statistics reveal that traders are operating at 62% of the market potential given the documented annual market capacity of USD 72,442,428. Irish potatoes, tomatoes, kales, bananas and cabbages are the most traded commodities although huge market deficits for all the commodities are still persistent...Read More

Maize Cost Benefit Analysis & Price Trends In Kenya

The leading cost in main production includes inputs costs - fertilizer, manure, chemicals, spraying and seeds (42%), followed by weeding (19%) and land preparation (18%), respectively. The average cost of production from the assessment study shows that the total production costs per acre are Kshs. 23,652 (USD 275), with an average production per acre of 2.7MT, the production cost per 90 kg bag translates to approximately Kshs. 788 (USD 9.16)...Read More


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Category: FCI Evidence
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FCI VISION :Commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond.