Reaping the potential benefits of amaranth: value chain challenges ahead for Kenya

Nzomo, E. M., Ariyawardana, A., Sila, D. N. and Sellahewa, J. N. (2015). Reaping the potential benefits of amaranth: value chain challenges ahead for Kenya. In: J. D. H. Keatinge, R. Srinivasan and M. Mecozzi, Proceedings of the I International Symposium on Indigenous Vegetables. International Horticultural Congress, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (191-198). 17-22 August 2015. doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1102.24

Author Nzomo, E. M.
Ariyawardana, A.
Sila, D. N.
Sellahewa, J. N.
Title of paper Reaping the potential benefits of amaranth: value chain challenges ahead for Kenya
Conference name International Horticultural Congress
Conference location Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Conference dates 17-22 August 2015
Proceedings title Proceedings of the I International Symposium on Indigenous Vegetables   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Acta Horticulturae   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Leuven, Belgium
Publisher International Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Year 2015
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1102.24
Open Access Status Not Open Access
ISBN 9789462610897
ISSN 0567-7572
Editor J. D. H. Keatinge
R. Srinivasan
M. Mecozzi
Volume 1102
Start page 191
End page 198
Total pages 8
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Amaranth is a drought tolerant and a highly nutritive crop that grows fast in the tropical areas of Kenya. Amaranth leaves and grain have the potential to enhance the nutritional status of vulnerable communities and address food security issues. In order to reap such benefits, it is vital to strengthen the existing supply chains. Thus, the aims of this study were to evaluate consumer preferences and utilisation patterns of amaranth products and to map the amaranth chains in Kenya so as to identify the crucial points that need intervention. This study adopted a value chain approach as applied to a case study, using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. Data were gathered from five consumer focus group discussions, 128 in-depth consumer surveys and seven interviews with amaranth value chain stakeholders in Kenya. Results revealed that 93% of rural respondents consumed amaranth produced in their farms while 61% of urban respondents purchased amaranth from stores. Amaranth leaves are more popular and cheaper than grain and other amaranth products. Leaf colour and size, and grain colour and prices were the key factors that influence amaranth leaves and grain purchase decisions. The majority of rural consumers were aware of the nutritive value of amaranth but they had minimal processing facilities and inadequate knowledge on postharvest practices. Consumption levels of urban consumers were affected by poor quality and inconsistent supply. This study showed that value chain interventions are needed to improve the consumption levels of this highly nutritive crop.
Keyword Amaranth
Consumer preference
Value chain
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2016 Collection
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Created: Thu, 28 Jan 2016, 18:47:59 EST by Anoma Ariyawardana on behalf of School of Agriculture and Food Sciences