The implementation of the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) methodology has demonstrated immense potential in revolutionizing the organic industry throughout Kenya. During the trial period implemented in the COVID-19 pandemic years (2020-2022), a lot happened and much more was started. Among these notable achievements, was the establishment and growth of the Kangari Organic Farmers Markets (KOFAM) and the Gatanga Organic Farmers Market (GOFAM).
Due to the imposed travel restrictions, organic products that were primarily destined for the Nairobi market faced significant challenges in reaching their consumers. Consequently, farmers began exploring local markets as an alternative solution. Initially, the idea of establishing a grocery shop in Kangari was considered, but based on past experiences regarding the management and upkeep of such ventures, it was discarded. Instead, the public market emerged as a favorable platform for selling organic products. Our collaboration with the farmers involved identifying business opportunities and refining them with the 5Ps of marketing (Product, Place, Price, Promotion, and Packaging).
Recognizing the importance of branding, the farmers made efforts to establish their unique presence within the market. They also engaged in negotiations with the County government to secure a dedicated space within the market premises where organic farmers could showcase and sell their products within specific timeframes. Furthermore, the farmers donned distinctive dustcoats and other branded attire, generating additional interest and driving sales. Today, the Kangari market operates successfully, displaying a sense of independence and witnessing ongoing growth. Our role as KOAN primarily involves supporting the Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) associated with the market.
Further accomplishments, which will be discussed in subsequent communique, including the development of herbs and spices dryer, the introduction of KOFAM and GOFAM herbs products, and the establishment of the Kenya Organic Avocado brand.