Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Scaling Up the Production and Commercialization of Tamarind Fruit in Kenya: The Missing Value Chain Links

Version 1 : Received: 25 April 2019 / Approved: 26 April 2019 / Online: 26 April 2019 (10:15:30 CEST)

How to cite: Simon, O. Scaling Up the Production and Commercialization of Tamarind Fruit in Kenya: The Missing Value Chain Links. Preprints 2019, 2019040295 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201904.0295.v1). Simon, O. Scaling Up the Production and Commercialization of Tamarind Fruit in Kenya: The Missing Value Chain Links. Preprints 2019, 2019040295 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201904.0295.v1).

Abstract

There is limited information on Tamarind production, trade and value added products in Kenya.   Of late, there is growing interest in the domestic and export markets due to its multiple uses. The objective of this paper is to review existing literature to identify the missing value chain links which may help catalyse the scaling up of production and commercialization of Tamarind. Selected literature and interviews with traders and extension staff in the Coastal Counties were used to collect information for this study. Tamarind fruits are mainly collected in the wild in semi-arid areas of the country and marketed through informal channels. Mombasa is the terminal market for tamarind from Kenya and Uganda, from where domestic consumers and exporters obtain their supplies. Globally, virtually every part of tamarind tree (pulp, seed, leaves, flowers, bark and roots) has either nutritional, industrial or medicinal value. Tamarind fruit contains substantial levels of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids making it potentially useful in addressing wide spread malnutrition. Its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-diabetic properties gives tamarind wider application in conventional and traditional medicine. The findings suggest that scaling up the production and commercialization of tamarind in the country requires both public and private sector investment. The structure of this partnership should consist of the following value chain links: An efficient Seed / seedling system as a source of planting materials; production hubs by farmer associations, government institutions and private farms; aggregation centres for assurance of volumes and quality; processing, value addition and product diversification; an efficient distribution systems of wholesalers and retailers, particularly supermarkets; exporters and consumers. The agenda for further research should include breeding and availing early maturing cultivars demanded by the export market, quality management andvalue addition technologies.

Subject Areas

Tamarind value chain; scaling-up; production; commercialization

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