The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Periodic Banana Markets in Meru County, Kenya
Mbuthia, Susan W.
Wambugu, Stephen K.
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The spatio-temporal distribution of markets can influence the farmer’s choice of a market channel. Assessing the effects of the spatio-temporal distribution of banana markets on the farmer’s choice of a marketing channel is important in providing information that may guide rural planners and developers. This study examined the pattern of distribution of banana markets in space and time, and its effects on farmers’ choice of market channel in Meru County, Kenya. The authors obtained data from field observations, measurements and questionnaires administered to 384 banana farmers. We analysed the data through Pearson correlation coefficient, nearest neighbour statistic and analysis of variance. The results revealed that banana markets are not: uniformly distributed, Rn = 0.31, p < .0001; synchronised, r = -0.530, p = .076; and distances between farms and markets significantly varied from location to location, F = 12.007, p < .000. The paper concludes that the periodic banana markets in Meru County are not spatially organised to adequately serve farmers with 47.4 % resorting to farm-gate selling. The study recommends that rural planners and developers reorganise the markets such that as spatial distance increase, the time distance decreases. This would ensure synchronisation and promote service delivery to farmers.