Factors influencing bean producers choice of marketing channels in Zambia

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Chalwe, Sunga
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ABSTRACT FACTORS INFLUENCING BEAN PRODUCERS' CHOICE OF MARKETING CHANNELS IN ZAMBIA Sunga Chalwe University of Zambia, 2011 Supervisor: Ms. M. Mwinga Dr. G. Tembo Pulse based foods have the potential to help solve food and nutrition security problems, which are issues of great concern for less developed countries such as Zambia. Beans are a good source of vegetable protein that can easily be a substitute for animal protein, which most smallholder farmers cannot afford. It also contains generous amounts of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and other dietary necessities. Beans are increasingly playing a major role in improving farmers' livelihoods in Zambia in that, in addition to their contribution to food and nutritional security, they are one of the major sources of income for the small scale farmers especially women. Marketing of agricultural products in Zambia has experienced major swings from use of marketing boards to a liberalized and much more diversified market system. The latter has given the producer a wider choice of marketing charmels. Thus, understanding the producers' market participation requires, among other things, understanding the decision processes through which they select their marketing channels. Currently, there is very little empirical evidence regarding these decision processes and the factors that influence bean producers selection of marketing channels. This study aims at understanding Zambian smallholder bean producers and the factors that influence their choice of marketing channels. It uses a probit model and data from the 2008 supplemental survey to the 1999/2000 post-harvest survey, conducted by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) with financial and technical support from the Food Security Research Project (FSRP). Results from the probit model indicate that the choice of marketing channel is directly influenced by the price of beans, scale of operation (as measured by the quantity of beans harvested, and quantity sold), distance to the market, farming mechanization used and livestock ownership Implying that except distance which is negatively related to private trade channel selection, a positive change in the variables above increase the probability of farmers selling to private traders. Under long distance to the market, beans farmers prefer selling to other households than to private traders. On the other hand probit results for decision to sell indicated that price, mechanization and farmers age significantly affect farmers decision to sell. Meaning that price is very important in stimulating both selling decisions and channel selection hence it is vital to make price information available to farmer. It can also be recommended that markets for beans should be developed within shorter distances from farms, this will motivate more participation in beans marketing. Policy makers should also focus more on small scale farmers especially in low beans producing areas if production of beans in Zambia is to enhance.
Beans , Legumes
The University of Zambia