Introduction

The Africa Community Access Programme (AFCAP) is a project sponsored by DFID Africa, and implemented with the support of partners such as KENDAT in collaboration with Crown Agents, The International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD) Eastern and Southern Africa Office and the Transport Training Initiative (TTi) of Germany. The short-term applied research project aimed to develop a methodology of how rural transport services for high value agricultural goods can be planned and implemented with due concern for efficiency, economics and household livelihood systems.

Project objectives include:

  • Analyzing existing freight transport services and logistics in value chains involving smallholder farmers growing high value commercial horticultural produce for Kenyan and international markets.
  • Drawing key lessons on how farming and transport services have developed, how they are structured and how they can be improved with regard to affordability, reliability, quality, organisation, logistics, efficiency, funding, etc., and from a household livelihoods systems perspective.
  • Developing an innovative approach for planning of affordable transport services for high value produce, drawing general lessons on how this approach can be replicated across commodity, geographic and economic environments, including passenger and essential service provisions

Methodology: The methodology used  exploits among others, a multi-modal planning approach [linking IMTs to motorized transport], ICTs, GIS, and route schedule management synchronized to load thresholds at different times. The outcomes are generalized for use in varying geographical and economic environments for varying enterprises with options for use by investors, policy makers and even donors. Useable practical application tools for planning and managing transport services useable by the range of associated entrepreneurs were developed.

Study regions The project was conducted in two study regions in the Counties of Kirinyaga and Meru in Kenya. The findings and tools developed were tested for applicability in 2 other regions with an aim of contributing to the overall goal of improving the incomes and livelihoods of smallholder horticultural farmers through structure and order for increased marketing.