Assessment of market participation and marketing channel choice of smallholder mixed bean producers in Zambia.
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Food legumes are an important source of food and cash in developing countries such as Zambia. However, producers of food legumes, which includes mixed beans, continue to face market access challenges exacerbated by maize centric policies. This study evaluated market participation and further assessed factors that influence channel choice of markets among smallholder mixed beans farmers in Zambia. The study used secondary cross sectional data from the Rural Agricultural Livelihoods Survey (RALS) conducted by the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) in 2015. The sample used in the current study consists of 1,326 mixed beans producing households. The study used descriptives to characterize the mixed beans households by market participation and by marketing channel type. To evaluate factors influencing decision and extent of market participation, the study utilized the Heckman Two-Stage Model. The Multinomial Logit Model was used to assess the factors that influence the market channel choice of households. Factors that positively influenced market participation in the mixed beans market include education level of the household head, quantity of beans harvested, access to price information, being domiciled in Agro-ecological region III and net off-farm income. Being in Agro-ecological region I had a negative influence on market participation. The education level of household head, area planted, and quantity harvested had a positive influence on extent of market participation. The age of household head, adult equivalent, TLU and being in Agro-Ecological Region I negatively influenced the extent of participation. These results suggest policies aimed at capacity building to improve farmers’ production, including marketing and business skills, improving bean farmers’ access to price information is essential. Farmers sell mixed beans to four major marketing channels: small-scale traders, other households, retailers/marketeers and other buyers. Choice of the retailer/marketeer market outlet was influenced by the education level of household head, quantity harvested, access to price information, and access to extension services. Distance to the market and being in Agro-Ecological Region I had a negative influence on the choice of retailer/marketeer. Choice of the other households market outlet was influenced by net off-farm income, and being located in Agro-Ecological Region I. Growing other crops (Simpson Index of Diversity), area planted and quantity harvested negatively influenced choice of the other households market outlet. Education level, quantity harvested and net off-farm income had a positive influence on choosing the other buyers outlet. Being in Agro-Ecological Region I had a negative influence on the choice of other buyers market outlet. These results suggest policies aimed at improving price information access, extension service delivery system to enhance decision-making, and investment in rural road infrastructure to aid in accessing profitable markets for beans. Key Terms: Market participation, Extent of Participation, Marketing channel, Smallholder farmers
The University of Zambia
- Agricultural Sciences