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Meine Pieter van Dijk
Joseph Gichuru Wang’ombe*
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Meine Pieter van Dijk
Joseph Gichuru Wang’ombe*
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International Journal of Agricultural Marketing

Sharing gains of the potato in Kenya: A case of thin governance

Joseph Gichuru Wang’ombe* and Meine Pieter van Dijk

Accepted 20 January, 2015 

Citation: Wang’ombe JG, van Dijk MP (2015). Sharing of gains of the potato in Kenya: A case of thin governance. International Journal of Agricultural Marketing, 2(2): 034-045.

Copyright: © 2015 Wang’ombe JG and van Dijk MP. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited. 


The potato offers a good alternative for diversification from maize, the staple food in Kenya. This article presents the results of a study on the potato marketing system, the factors affecting prices and the predominant governance system impacting on the market. Survey data were collected from 402 farmers in the three potato growing regions and addition information on monthly prices in major markets was provided the Ministry of Agriculture.  There were also semi-structured interviews with the major actors in the potato sector.

Potato marketing exhibits the captive governance structure with traders collaboratively acting as the lead firm. An analysis of the split in selling price between the various players indicates that margins were concentrated at the coordination of marketing activities as opposed to the production activities. Coordination activities took about 40% of the consumer price. Besides the market channel used, the production region, the size of the land cultivated and the yields obtained determined the price obtained by the farmers. Given the distribution of the value added in the chain and the current dominance of traders, we argue in favour of upgrading the value chain and giving more power to the farmers and their organizations.

Key words: Marketing, value chain, prices, governance