Analysis of the market structures and systems for indigenous fruit trees: the case for Uapaca Kirkiana in Zambia
Thesis (MScFor (Forest and Wood Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.
This study is about marketing of Uapaca kirkiana fruit in Zambia, a fruit that has great economic value especially among the rural and urban poor. It contributes to general food security. In southern Africa, farmers and other stakeholders have identified Uapaca as a priority species for domestication. Current agroforestry initiatives are promoting integration of indigenous trees into farming systems to provide marketable products for income generation. Domestication of trees however, depends on expanding the market demand for tree products. There is considerable evidence that expanding market opportunities is critical for the success of domestication innovations but farmers have been introduced to domestication with little consideration for marketing. The existing market potential can be achieved through sound knowledge on markets and marketing. Information on the marketing of Uapaca fruit is inadequate. This study, therefore, aimed at generating information on the marketing of Uapaca kirkiana fruit, including the basic conditions of demand and supply of the fruit. The main study was conducted in Chipata and Ndola districts in the Eastern and Copperbelt provinces respectively, while fruit pricing was conducted in Lusaka district in Lusaka Province. Questionnaires and participatory research methods were used to collect the data. A total of 37 markets involving 49 collectors, 59 retailers, 189 consumers and 20 government forest workers are included in the study. The study reveals that there is demand for the fresh and secondary products of the fruit and hence substantial fruit trading exists in Zambia. However, the marketing system is characterised by underdevelopment. There is insufficient capacity to satisfy the demand for the fruit and institutional /policy support to Uapaca fruit market expansion. Currently, only basic technology for product development exists. The results suggest a need to address policy and capacity development for expansion of Uapaca kirkiana fruit industry. To improve the Uapaca trade industry, the study proposes developing and scaling up policy strategies, fruit processing sector, research-extension-trader-agribusiness linkages, infrastructure development and knowledge generation for improved understanding of the Uapaca fruit markets.