International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss


Factors Affecting the Coconut Industry from Benefitting the Indigenous Communities of Kilifi District, Kenya

This study focuses on the coconut industry and the factors hindering the indigenous communities of Kilifi District from benefiting from the crop. The coconut palm tree cocos nucifera was introduced by the Portuguese in the region in the 7th century. The crop is considered as the tree of life, because of its many uses. The introduction of the plant was expected to benefit the local community. However, this has not been the case and poverty continues to loom despite the many products that accrue from the crop. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate the factors hindering the local community from benefiting from this cash crop.The study was conducted at three  sites, namely Mtwapa on the southern border of Kilifi district near Mombasa, Tezo/Roka which is a renowned coconut growing region between Mtwapa and Matsangoni and the third site was Matsangoni on the northern part of the district , bordering Malindi district. The sites were  so as to completely cover the coconut growing region of the District. Questionnaires were used for collection of data. Simple random sampling methods were used by trained interviewers and the results were analyzed using standard methods of SPSS version 11.0. The results indicated that low prices of the coconut products, unclear legal framework, lack of proper markets, poor farming methods, low productivity and lack of financial support from the government and financial institutions are some of the factors that hinder the indigenous community from benefiting from the coconut products in the region. The de-listing of the coconut tree as a protected crop by the government in 1997, probably as a result of structural adjustments in the Agriculture sector, made the situation worse because the crop became invisible. However, the government created the Kenya Coconut Development Authority (KCDA) in 2007 which along with other agencies and institutions such as, KARI, ABD, KEPHIS and KEBS are making efforts to improve the coconut sub-sector, in the region. The recommendations of this study are that there is urgent need for proper pricing policies, proper markets, proper regulations particularly on the coconut palm wine and that appropriate planting materials be made available to the farmers at affordable prices. Also the farmers should be organized into viable commercial groups with proper collecting centers for their products and financial assistance be provided, so that coconut production can also form part of the Agriculture pillar towards the achievement of the vision 2030 .

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