Notes that in Africa, food assembly markets are a key part of the institutional framework in which efficient and effective food marketing channels can develop. Examines existing assembly markets for horticultural commodities in Kenya, showing that they evolve in surplus areas with relatively poor farm accessibility and low supply concentration. Observes that under these circumstances, the markets serve to reduce transport and/or information costs to suppliers and buyers and that “dual systems” and “first‐ and second‐level assembly markets” may evolved. Anticipates that rural assembly markets will gain in importance, or at least maintain their current importance, in the coming decade and advises African policymakers who intend to develop such markets for horticultural commodities or grains to focus on areas with a surplus production, low supply concentration and poorly accessible farms. Concludes that the assembly markets should be better accessible by road or rail than their hinterland.
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