Decision making in food marketing in Kenya with special reference to maize and sugar

Four criteria may be used for evaluating agricultural marketing: guaranteeing of urban food supply; stabilization of prices, both seasonally and between localities; technical 'allocative efficiency; and promotion of agricultural development. To achieve these objectives a marketing organization with fair prices is important and needs storage facilities and government support and participation. In Kenya this governmental intervention is achieved through controlled marketing using parastatal boards. Many writer! have given economic reasons for removing government intervention because it does not satisfy all the four criteria. However, no studies have been undertaken on the organi- zational aspects that such changes will induce nor on organizational improvements to existing governmental marketing system. This study was intended to investigate the present governmental organization in meeting the objectives of intervention in food marketing as measured by the above criteria. It has been noted that the system faces formidable constraints that requires it to adopt the scientific approach to decision making, which it is not doing at present. Decision making requires collection of data, their analysis and selection of the best alternative courses of action. Good decisions are normally those taken at the points where the action takes place. This dictates that authority be delegated adequately throughout the system to allow for timely decisions.