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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Commercial Horticulture by African Smallholders: A Success Story from the Highlands of Kenya
Author:Dijkstra, Tjalling
Periodical:Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives and Area Studies
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:small farms
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Abstract:Rural development requires income opportunities for rural households. One such opportunity is horticultural production for the domestic market. Between 1990 and 1992 the author carried out surveys among rural households in Nyandarua, Kisii and Taita, three regions in the highlands of Kenya where commercial horticulture has developed successfully. Favourable agroecological circumstances and increasing land shortage in the production areas, in combination with growing urban demand and improvement of interregional road networks, fostered the development process. Substantial purchasing power of the urban population allowed transport over distances of hundreds of kilometres. By 1991, the majority of the rural households in the areas surveyed were selling horticultural commodities, and horticulture had become the most vital source of cash revenues on the farm. Horticulture offers a more sustainable source of income to smallholders in the research areas than export crops or off-farm employment, though its success has given rise to production and marketing problems that demand attention from the Kenyan government. Given certain conditions, horticulture may also be a promising source of income for farmers in other parts of Africa. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.