Constant droughts especially in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) have led to recurrent crop failures and livestock losses. Households have therefore resulted to other alternatives which can provide both food and income. Trade in indigenous fruits contributes to livelihoods through income generation and as a safety net for consumption and income smoothing. This paper presents the analysis of economic returns from harvesting and marketing indigenous fruits and the socio economic factors that influence participation in trade of indigenous fruits. The results are based on a survey conducted in Nuu division, Mwingi District, where 120 randomly selected households were interviewed using a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire. Logistic regression model, Gross Margin Analysis, and Benefit cost ratios were used during the analysis. Data was processed and analyzed using SPSS20. The Gross margins depicted harvesting of indigenous fruits for trade as a profitable venture. High benefit cost ratios of greater than 3.0 were reported in all the three fruits under study. Higher returns to labour and other associated costs were notably reported in the distant market as compared to the local market. The analysis of socioeconomic factors influencing participation in indigenous fruits’ trade identified household size, gender, form of employment and market distance to be significant variables. Respectively, market distance and household size negatively and positively influenced participation in harvesting indigenous fruits for trade. The female headed households and low income earners were more likely to participate in trade of indigenous fruits.


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