Factors affecting profitability of smallholder onion production in Zambia's Chongwe District

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Chipili, Jack K.
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University of Zambia
The continued reliance on onion has contributed to income generation among smallholder farmers. This study was carried out in Chongwe district, aimed at determining the factors that affect profitability of onion production in Zambia's Chongwe district. The objectives of the study were to identify the factors that affect onion profitability, determine the extent to which these identified factors influence onion production among small scale farmers. The structured questionnaire was the primary instrument used for data collection with a sample size of 67. The study revealed several factors that affect profitability of onion production. Identified ones as being significant at 95% confidence level in explaining onion profitability in Lusaka's Chongwe District were education level (P-value=0.028), farm size (P-value=0.031), seed varieties (P-value=0.026), and household size (P-value=0.008). Increase in Education level, farm size and household size positively adds to profitability while seed varieties impacts negatively to profitability. In light of the results it would be recommend that farmers should consider expanding farm size to increase capital base, business size, and efficiency in order to increase income generation capacity for their farming business. Further, government and the private sector should help farmers with the necessary facilities required to increase the profit and marketability of farm produce. Farmers need intervention policies from the government that would assure them producer floor prices or higher farm gate prices to avoid risks of losses that might arise as a result of high onion supply, considering that besides domestic production, Lusaka receives 60% of its onion from imports. This is in line with the fact that farm yield increases with farm size.
Student Project Report
Onions--Chongwe, Zambia , Onions