Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange (KACE): Linking Small-Scale Farmers to National and Regional Markets
KACE is the first and only national agricultural commodity exchange in Kenya, and it differentiates itself by dealing with a variety of commodities of which maize and beans are the most heavily traded. KACE acting as an intermediary further empowers rural farmers with market information and provides capacity enhancement, business training and technical assistance.
Prior to the formation of KACE, small scale farmers lacked access to mainstream markets for agricultural produce, leaving them vulnerable to the forces of the market, as well as to exploitation by country buyers. In addition to this, for any one crop, the marketing chain consists of multiple middlemen, each taking a margin at every stage between producer and consumer and to have a competitive final price the small scale farmer bears the losses. The main activities of KACE include linking farmers and mainstream buyers by collecting information on the prices in different markets of various commodities on a daily basis from market vendors then availing them to the farmers in real time. Modern information communication technology (ICT) makes this possible through mobile phone handsets and personal computers. Trades are made through competitive bids and offers, once a buyer and a seller agree to trade, KACE acts as a clearing house and arranges the financial and logistical aspects of the sale thus giving the farmers options as well as bargaining power.