Supermarkets have expanded rapidly in SADC during the last decade, leading to fears that small-scale farmers and food processors could be excluded from access to urban markets. To asses the impact of supermarkets chains on various participants in the supply chain, a survey was carried out in Botswana, Namibia and Zambia in 2004, 2005 and 2007. To dertemine the factors that influence the choice choice between supermarket and traditional market channel the impact of participation in the supermarket supply chain, a two-step treatment model was used.The result shows that 80% of all procesed food product in Botswana, Namibia and Zambia were imported from South Africa, and that supermarkets used a mixture of procurement system for fresh fruit and vegetable and processed food products. Participation in the supermakets channel had a positive impact on small-scale farmers' incomes. Farmers who supplied fresh fruit and vegetables to supermarkets had a significantly higher income than those who supplied to traditional markets into the SADC countries may be beneficial to small-scale supermarkets into farmers and therefore efforts should be made to incoporate them into the supermarkets' fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain.
Text published in Agrikon media column: Agrikon, vol. 48, no.1 March 2009.