The interplay between traders, products, and customers in fresh produce business establishment and operation in Nairobi City Park market, Kenya

Main Article Content

Mwamburi Mcharo
Fuchaka Waswa

Keywords

customer, business, fresh produce, market, trader

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that influence and motivate people to engage in fresh produce trading at the Nairobi City Park market. Three objectives guided this study, thus: (i) To determine the relationship between trader socio-economic factors and the decision to trade at the City Park market (ii) To establish the fresh produce related factors that motivate traders to operate at the City Park market (iii) To find out the customer related factors that motivate traders to sell their produce at the City Park market. This study was based on the central place theory of retail outlet location. A case study involving key informant interviews and questionnaires was done. Data were obtained from two key informants, 119 traders, and 20 customers. Systematic sampling was used to select traders, snowball sampling to select consumers and purposive sampling to select key informants. Youth constituted 52.5% of the traders, which should motivate the government to invest in youth agribusinesses. Important reasons for establishing businesses at City Park were space availability (27.2%), security (18.5%) and proximity to customers (16.3%). Significant correlations (P ≤ 0.1) included those between number of employees and number of repeat customers (r = 0.533). Half of the traders who used various ways to attract customers also employed a shop assistant (χ2 = 6.43, P = 0.011). Policymakers can prioritise creation of more market space, provide security and improve transport infrastructure.  Traders value high net-worth customers willing to pay a premium for high quality produce. Customers value diversity and quality of produce, and secure trading environment. The government should formulate policies that encourage traders to establish long term businesses. Fresh produce quality standards should be clearly defined and legalized. Market environments should be improved through construction of well-designed buildings with amenities utilities, and security.

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