Determinants of Commercializing Crop Outputs of Smallholder Farmers in West Gojjam Zone, North-western Ethiopia
Background: Commercializing crop production is the pathway for economic development. Previous studies revealed that crop commercialization is affected by resource endowments, and access to institutions and markets. However, the studies have failed to consider landholding size, farmland fragmentation, and crop diversity.
Objective: This study was aimed at investigating factors affecting crop outputs commercialization Method and Materials: the study addresses quantitative and qualitative research questions used to understand the determining factors of crop output commercialization in west Gojjam Zone of the Amhara Regional State of Ethiopia. Multistage random sampling method was used to sample 385 respondents and a structured interview was conducted. The quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and
zero-inflated beta regression. Qualitative data were collected using a focus group discussion and individual interviews, which were then analysed using narration.
Results: The results of the analysis of the data revealed that the average smallholders’ crop output commercialization was estimated at 22.7%. Results from the zero-inflated beta regression model revealed that ownership of cell phones, farmland rental contract, and market orientation increased the probability of output commercialization. However, distance of all-weather roads from residence limited the probability of output commercialization. Household head age, household head educational status, farmland
fragmentation, crop diversification and market orientation increased the proportion of output commercialization whereas landholding size reduced the extent of output commercialization.
Conclusion: Land holding size reduces proportion of output commercialization; farmland fragmentation and crop diversification increases proportion of output commercialization. The results imply that increasing the size of landholding reduces intensified crop production. Farmland fragmentation allows farmers to access favourable agro-ecological functions for growing marketable crops. The results also imply that crop diversification is a strategy to reduce market risks and promotes output commercialization, thereby
improving access to technologies, lowering input purchase costs, reducing output market price seasonal volatility, and enhancing crop output commercialization.
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