This report contains the results of a small scale pilot study on the transport challenges confronted by small scale holder onion farmers in moving their produce between their farms and the roadside collection points. The study was carried out in Kieni area of Nyeri County, Kenya, in the months of April to June 2014. Onions are one of the various high value but perishable commodities being grown by small holders in the highland areas of Kenya. Roadside consolidation of produce into viable volumes requires a good local transport system and coordination with traders who collect produce for outward transport to the main markets. The transport chains in the commercial small holder sector in Kenya can be described using the following simplified structure: (1) A primary transport segment from the farm to a collection/consolidation point typically found at the key junctions of a motorable (low volume) road. Key actors in the transport system are the farmers who use their own (household) based means of transport such as human labour, animal carts, bicycles and sometimes motorcycles. (2) An intermediate transport segment - that is from the primary collection points to an intermediate traders market (in the case of onions, potatoes and bananas) or a cooling point (for French Beans). Key actors in this segment are the better of farmers (also doubling up as traders) wholesaling companies and transporters. (3) Transport to terminal delivery through main arterial road networks for national and international markets. Key actors here are transporters and traders. Each of the above transport segments has distinct challenges and associated transport costs. From the point of view of AFCAP’s focus on rural access, the downstream transport segment – between the small holder farm and the first commercial interface (collection point, or primary market) is of particular interest. We refer to this transport segment as the First Mile.
Njenga, P.; Wahome, G.; Hine, J. Pilot Study on First Mile Transport Challenges in the Onion Small Holder Sector. (2014) 54 pp.