Challenges and Strategies to Improve Tomato Competitiveness along the Tomato Value Chain in Kenya

  •  Sigei Geoffrey    
  •  Ngeno Hillary    
  •  Kibe Antony    
  •  Mwangi Mariam    
  •  Mutai Mary    


Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum mill) is the second leading vegetable in Kenya in terms of production and value after potato. It can be grown either outdoors or under protected environment because of its wide adaptability and versatility. The potential to strategize the ways of enhancing its competitiveness in the value chain remains locked and unexploited due to a host of constraining factors along its value chain, which must be addressed. This paper has identifies the underlying constraints and proposes strategic interventions to enhance tomato competitiveness along the value chain in Kenya. Secondary data was obtained from Horticulture Crop Development Authority, Amiran Kenya limited and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries records. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in tables to ease understanding. Underlying constraints such as production inefficiencies, market inaccessibility, underutilization of processing facilities and consumers exploitation through exorbitant pricing were identified to affect tomato value chain performance. Strategic interventions like the adoption of greenhouse technologies; appropriate irrigation systems, and business model aggregator were identified to enhance tomato value chain competitiveness. Government was therefore recommended to partner with all stakeholders in order to enhance performance in tomato value chain.

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