INFLUENCE OF MARKETING MIX STRATEGIES ON SALES PERFORMANCE OF BIXA ORELLANA AMONG SMALL SCALE FARMERS IN KWALE COUNTY, KENYA
CHERUIYOT, DAVID KISA
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Bixa Orellana, a natural food-colour, is in high demand in both local and international markets due to its health benefits. The sales performance of the crop remains relatively low in Kenya despite its potential contribution towards increasing Bixa farmers‟ income. Unlike other cash crops, the marketing efforts of Bixa remains unstructured and has been the obligation of small-scale farmers who produce the crop. It therefore remains unclear whether such efforts have influenced the sales performance of Bixa Orellana. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of marketing mix strategies on the sales performance of Bixa Orellana among Small Scale farmers in Kwale County, Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were to: examine the influence of product strategy; assess the influence of pricing strategy; establish the influence of place strategy; examine the influence of promotion strategy; and examine the moderating effect of Government policy on Bixa Orellana value chain on sales performance of Bixa Orellana among Small Scale farmers in Kwale County, Kenya. The study was underpinned by the Consumer Utility Theory, Theory of Pricing, AIDA model and Distribution Channel Theory. The study adopted a positivism research paradigm and a descriptive survey research design. The target population for the study was 2,419 registered small scale Bixa farmers in Kwale County. The sample size was 106 farmers who were selected using simple random sampling technique. The research instruments were a Questionnaire and an Interview schedule. Reliability of the Questionaire was tested and confirmed as 0.831 using Cronbach Alpha while validity was confirmed using expert opinion. Both Data analysis which was done with the aid of SPSS version 21.0 software. Descriptive statistical analysis involved; calculation of means, standard deviations and percentages; inferential statistical analysis involved simple and multiple regression analysis; and thematic analysis was used for interviews. From simple regression analyses, the study found out that except for placement strategy, product, price and promotion strategies had significant influence on the sales performance of Bixa Orellana among small scale farmers in Kwale County. However, multiple regression analysis results indicated that among the 4Ps only promotion strategy had a significant statistical influence on sales performance of Bixa Orellana among small scale farmers in Kwale County, Kenya. The moderating effect of Government policy on Value chain of Bixa Orellana was found to be statistically insignificant, and not affecting the relationship between marketing mix strategies and sales performance of Bixa Orellana. The study concuded that product and pricing had a positive but insignificant influence on sales performance of Bixa Orellana while placement and promotion strategies had negative insignificant and significant influences on sales performance of Bixa Orellana, respectively. The study recommends that; small scale farmers should adopt the appropriate 4Ps marketing mix strategies in order to improve sales performance of Bixa Ollerana with a deeper focus on pricing and promotion strategies. It also recommends that Kenya government through its agencies should formulate and implement policies that will contribute towards enhancing production and marketing of the crop in the country. This study is expected to serve as a theoretical model for future studies in the area. It has also contributed towards unveiling the influence of marketing mix strategies on sales performance of Bixa Orellana among small scale farmers and has made policy recommendations towards production and marketing of the crop in the country.
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