Pyrethrum production, processing and marketing has been faced with many challenges, evidenced by Kenya losing the top position of global supplier of pyrethrum. Kenya used to control 70% of the global pyrethrum market share. However, the production, processing and marketing of pyrethrum flowers has dwindled in recent years. According to the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya, markets have been lost to other competing countries, while farmers are shifting to alternative crops. While past studies have demonstrated that there are many factors that influence marketing of agricultural produce, little focus has been made specifically on factors influencing marketing of pyrethrum from small holder farmers. This study therefore sought to examine the influence of selected factors on the marketing of pyrethrum products of small holder farmers in Kisii County. The specific objectives of the study were to establish the influence of quality related factors, competition related factors, farmers‟ cooperative societies and infrastructure related factors on the marketing of pyrethrum of small holder farmers. A correlational and cross sectional survey research design was adopted for the study. The target population was 950 pyrethrum farmers drawn from three pyrethrum growing constituencies of Kisii County. The farmers were members of Masaba Farmers‟ Cooperative Union, through their respective 12 Pyrethrum Farmers‟ Cooperative Societies (FCS). A sample of 274 farmers was picked proportionately from the three constituencies. The farmers‟ details were provided by the Masaba Farmers‟ Cooperative Union, and the sample was drawn from the 12 Farmers Co-operative Societies in 3 the pyrethrum growing constituencies in Kisii County. Research data was collected using questionnaires and the process took 3 months from June to August 2014. The questionnaire was administered to 274 pyrethrum farmers in Kisii County. Farmers were given the questionnaires by the FCS managers as they entered the FCS premises for their 2014 Annual General meetings. They were requested to fill and return the questionnaires to the managers the same day. This process was repeated in all the 12 FCSs on different dates. To summarize the data, descriptive statistics such as mean, frequencies and percentages were used. To test the hypotheses, Pearson‟s correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis were used. The results were presented using tables. The results revealed that there is a positive significant influence of the selected factors of quality related factors on marketing, competition related factors on marketing, farmers‟ cooperative societies on marketing and infrastructure related factors on marketing of pyrethrum products by smallholder farmers. The results also revealed that of the selected factors, infrastructure related factors had the most influence on marketing of pyrethrum followed by quality related factors, FCS, and competition related factors respectively. The findings further showed that quality related factors, competition related factors, FCS, and infrastructure related factors jointly have a positive significant influence on marketing of pyrethrum from smallholder farmers in Kisii County. The study recommended that in order to improve the marketing of pyrethrum from small holder farmers in Kisii County, the national and county governments and the Pyrethrum Directorate enhance pyrethrum quality to make it more competitive, revamp pyrethrum farmers‟ cooperative societies to improve marketing services to farmers, and improve infrastructure to ease logistics of pyrethrum products into the market. To scholars, the researcher recommended replication of the study in other pyrethrum growing counties to enhance understanding of factors that influence marketing of pyrethrum from smallholder farmers in Kenya.

Background of the Study 
A report on Kenya‟s pyrethrum industry by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Government of Kenya (GOK MFPED, 2004) records a fluctuation in demand of pyrethrum extracts in Kenya, mainly due to fluctuation in demand in the world market and also due to increasing competition from inorganic products. Most of the channels available to the majority of pyrethrum farmers are long and inefficient causing delays in collection of dried flowers and in payment to farmers. Pyrethrum cultivation in Kenya dates back to 1928. The highest pyrethrum production in Kenya was realized in 1983 and from 1985 onwards, advanced technology in synthetic product innovation and aggressive promotion of the synthetic insecticides have discouraged increased production of natural pyrethrum not only in Kenya but worldwide. World pyrethrum production was about 14,000 tons of dried flowers, while demand was estimated at 20,000 tons per annum, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD, 2004). This market gap encouraged the increased manufacture of chemical substitutes. According to the Export Processing Zones Authority of Kenya (2005) pyrethrum production had been on a steady rise from 1999 to 2002. However, production at current prices, declined from KSh 1,272 Million in 2002 to KSh 782 Million in 2003. 

In the recent past, the performance of the pyrethrum sector has declined in terms of quality, price and production. For example in 2000, the pyrethrum bonus payment paid to farmers was 39% of the price of the crop, whereas in 2001, the bonus declined to 3% and as of 2002, no bonuses were paid. This is reported as one of the disincentives to pyrethrum farmers, making them not prioritize pyrethrum growing and marketing, Pyrethrum Board of Kenya, (PBK Annual Reports, 2010). 

Marketing of Pyrethrum 
The World Bank report (2007) identified Market access as one of the foremost factors influencing the performance of small-scale producers in developing countries. Smallholders‟ access to markets for higher-value or differentiated agricultural and food products is recognized as a vital opportunity to enhance and diversify the livelihoods of lower-income farm households and reduce rural poverty more generally. 

Recent studies have observed that the term agricultural marketing is composed of two words -agriculture and marketing. Agriculture, in the broadest sense means activities aimed at the use of natural resources for human welfare, and marketing connotes a series of activities involved in moving the goods from the point of production to the point of consumption. In principal therefore, the subject of agricultural marketing includes marketing functions, agencies, channels, efficiency, cost, market integration, and producer‟s surplus. 

Pyrethrum marketing in Kenya value chain involves the pyrethrum farmer as the supplier of raw dry flowers, and the pyrethrum Board of Kenya as the main buyer and processor of the dry flowers delivered from the farmers. However, there are market channels such as the Farmers Cooperative Societies, the Buying Collection Centers, the Self Help Groups and the middlemen or brokers who buy from farmers and either deliver directly to PBK or through the group collection centers and farmer cooperatives. Upon processing the flowers to intermediate pyrethrum extracts and powders, buyers of these products from the PBK are the formulators. The formulators add more value to the pyrethrum powder, crude or pale extract from the PBK processing. Table 1.1 displays some preferred marketing channels from major pyrethrum growing regions.

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 67 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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