Farm-Level Supply and Value Addition of Mangoes among Small-Scale Producers in Machakos County
Musyoka, John Kennedy
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Mango (Mangifera indicia L.) is one of the most suitable fruit crops in arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya. Its production in Machakos County has generally been fluctuating over the past few years, such that there is no consensus whether the production is increasing or decreasing. In addition, there is a paucity of knowledge about the quantity of mangoes supplied by small-scale farmers. Upon harvest, the mango fruit is highly perishable, therefore farmers have taken up farm-level value addition strategies to enhance the shelf life so as to improve market access. In this respect, this study sought to establish what influences farm-level supply and value addition of mangoes among the producers. The specific objectives addressed herein were; to determine the effect of selected factors on mango production, to assess the factors influencing the quantity of mangoes supplied to the market, and to evaluate the effect of selected factors on farm-level value addition. The study was conducted in six mango growing Wards of Mwala Sub-County in Machakos County. Data were collected by administering a semi-structured interview schedule to 352 small-scale mango producers, who were identified through two-stage stratified sampling and probability proportionate to size technique. Results of the Cobb-Douglas production function showed that both family and hired labour, pesticides, and manure were the main inputs that influenced mango production. Furthermore, household size, mango farming income, farm size, amount of credit, and extension contact had a positive effect on mango production, while the costs of pesticides and manure had a negative effect. Further, the two-stage least square regression model revealed that the quantity of mangoes produced, market prices, market access, extension contact, and amount of credit positively influenced the quantity supplied. On the contrary, the household head age exhibited a negative influence on the quantity supplied. Finally, the Heckman two-stage selection model results revealed that off-farm income, access to cold storage facilities, price of value-added products, group membership, extension contact, farmers’ awareness, amount of credit, and hired labour had a positive significant influence on the probability of farmers’ participation in farm-level value addition. This study recommends firstly that; the small-scale mango farmers should allocate more land to mango farming so as to increase the level of output. Secondly, farmers should adopt high-yielding mango varieties such as apple variety and apply good management practices to increase the quantity produced, which in turn will reflect in increased market supply. Thirdly, relevant authorities in the County may consider providing adequate and up to date mango storage facilities and increase extension contacts to facilitate the uptake of mango farm-level value addition among small-scale farmers.