Enhancing Market Support Infrastructure
If smallholders are to improve their livelihoods then they must have access to reliable wholesale markets their produce. While farmers in most Asian countries already do this, wholesale markets in Africa are lagging behind and those that have been developed generally have inadequate facilities and huge problems of congestion, waste, and pollution. In view of this we have funded initiatives to look at the potential for wholesale markets in Nairobi and Kigali.
- The idea of wholesale market for fresh produce in Nairobi is not a new one. Plans date back to 1972 but for a variety of reasons the market for both wholesale and retail functions was never fully developed. A new study was undertaken with new ideas which involved key public sector stakeholders who offered their support for a modern, private sector managed, wholesale fresh produce market. A public-private sector partnership is planned and a 40ha site close to Nairobi and funding discussions are in hand with the World Bank, African Development Bank, and the African Enterprise Challenge Fund.
- In Rwanda the government has successfully increased fruit and vegetables production but this has increased farm incomes because only a fraction of this is sold, usually at low prices, because of a lack of organised market facilities and postharvest infrastructure to deal with perishable crops. The Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority is assessing the feasibility of a well-organized wholesale market in Kigali. A public-private partnership is envisaged. In other countries markets attract civic funding and produce many social and economic benefits like public investment in roads and water supply systems.