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A STUDY ON THE SUPPLY, MARKET AND CHALLENGES OF FISH SELLING BUSINESS IN NAIROBIS CITY MARKET AND GIKOMBA MARKET.

RESEARCH BY: BULUMA MARK EUGINE PRESENTED TO: MR. BONIFACE OKADA BULUMA. DURATION: SAT 13TH SUN 14TH OCT 2012.

THE INTRODUCTIION. Economics is the study of the production and distribution of economic Goods and services, bearing in mind that the necessary resources (land, Water, money, inputs, labour, etc.) are always limited. (Charles C. Ngugi, James R. Bowman, Bethuel O. Omolo. A NEW GUIDE TO FISH FARMING IN KENYA) This statement proved true as the researcher found out from the study on the fish selling business in Nairobi city. Following instructions from the business owner of NYALA ENTERPRISES, a highly potential business in fish supply chain, the researcher went out on a two day journey of analyzing the scope of fish selling business in Nairobi city. THE ABSTRACT. The study is broken down to four main sections consisting of: 1. The supply chain. 2. Market. 3. Business challenges. 4. Recommendations. 5. Conclusion. Interviewing, observation and revision of secondary data sources were used as methods of data collection. Note taking, was used as a method of data recording. In the study, a sample of four businesspersons from city market and two businesspersons from Gikomba market were interviewed. Although some the responses have been paraphrased due care was taken to avoid loss of meaning of the statements during translation from Kiswahili to English language. Due to time and financial constraints, and the need to stay within the scope of the subject, the study narrowed down to the supply, market and challenges of fish selling business in Nairobis city market and Gikomba market. THE SUPPLY CHAIN. Opportunity cost is the next best opportunity one foregoes as a result of selecting one out of several possibilities. (Charles C. Ngugi, James R. Bowman, Bethuel O. Omolo. A NEW GUIDE TO FISH FARMING IN KENYA.) With respect to this statement, the study anticipated that the businesspersons in City and Gikomba markets would prefer sourcing the supply of their fish from the nearby fish farms around Nairobi or even a nearby source of Lake Naivasha to cut down on transport costs. However, most businesspersons, three out of the four interviewed at City market and the two at Gikomba Market, disclosed of Lake Victoria being their sole source of supply. This was attributed to low quality of farm fish meat and under- production of fish from Lake Naivasha. When you display farm fish to customers, they do ask so many endless questions pertaining the quality of the fish. Besides that, they dont buy the fish at all. City market interviewee.

Whenever I sold farm fish I would go on a loss. This is because the fish, weigh too low. So I stopped selling fish farm long time ago. An interviewee who has been in the business for approximately 15 years. The supply is sourced from the Lake Victoria on a daily basis. The business persons have suppliers based at the Lake Victoria basin who purchase the fish in the morning, pack it in containers filled with ice stones. The containers are labeled with the recipients name for identification then packed in a lorry for transportation overnight. The supply is received by businesspersons from 5.00am to 9.00am every day. Upon reception and verification of the package quantity and quality, the recipient sends money via M-pesa to the supplier. Only one of the sampled interviewees sourced his supply from the coastal region of Kenya. To this respondent, the mode of transaction was similar to the above described. The supply is sold to the businesspersons in bulk of kilograms at the range of Ksh 180 to Ksh 220 per kg for the fish from Lake Victoria. The respondent who sources from Mombasa could not disclose the supply prices due to reasons of confidentiality with the supplier. The species of fish supplied from the Lake Victoria region are: Tilapia and Nile perch. A variety of salty water species of fish, not mentioned in this study, were supplied from the coastal region.

THE FISH MARKET. All the respondents disclosed their market as being the selling point at their respective markets. In addition to this five of the respondents disclosed that they had steady orders from several hotels and restaurants in Nairobi city and its environs. One correspondent disclosed that he only supplies fish to the hotels on days when he has a surplus that he is afraid may go badly. The fish selling peak seasons as disclosed by the respondents were at end months, at the start of new months, during school and public holidays and on weekends when some clients purchase enough supply for a weeks meal. The fish selling business was discovered to be profitable as the respondents disclosed of their ability to pay school fees for their children, make savings, improve their households and make investments besides providing for basic needs of their families out of the business. At the city market, the fish is sold by the measure of the weight of the fish. A kilogram of Tilapia costs Ksh 350 while a kilogram of Nile perch costs Ksh 300. In case a customer wished to purchase a fish of lesser quantity, for instance 600g, respective prices in comparison to a kilogram would be computed and applied. On average, the least sale on an off-peak season was approximated to 20 kilograms per business person. The highest approximated sale on a peak season was estimated to 300 kilograms. The fish in Gikomba market is sold according to size ranging from ksh120 to Ksh 1000.

CHALLENGES IN THE BUSINESS. Poor storage facilities at the Gikomba market led to quick perishability of the fish. Poor drainage systems of the Gikomba market restrained accessibility, mobility and quality of service to the customers. Occasional lack of good preservation methods during packaging and transport led to quick perishability of the fish thus reducing the shelf life of the fish. Inadequate market during off-peak season. RECOMMENDATIONS. Acquisition of quality but affordable storage facilities. Upgrade of drainage and sanitation facilities at the Gikomba market. Societal acquisition and adoption of fish eating culture as an alternative source of animal protein. CONCLUSION. After analysis of the study responses and observations, the fish industry is deemed to be underexploited in the Nairobi environment. This is attributed to the reliance on red meat (nyama choma) and chicken for animal protein. Analysis of the profitability of the business as compared to the challenges faced proves the viability of the business venture. With most health experts recommending white meat to red meat, the people of Nairobi are slowly adopting the fish eating culture. Fish supply and distribution business is the next blue-chip enterprise thats in the offing in the Nairobi market, waiting to be tapped by the Young, innovative and competitive entrepreneurs like Mr. Boniface Okada Buluma.