marketing outlets choice is one of the most important farm household decisions to sell their produce and has a great impact on household income. Though the study area has great potential of honey production, the farmers in the study area faced the marketing problem in choice of appropriate honey market outlets. This study was therefore carried out to analyze determinants of honey producers' market outlet choice decisions in Chena district. A total of 154 honey-producing households were surveyed, and the data obtained were analyzed by using multivariate probit model. The results show that most sampled households in the study area sell their honey to cooperative outlet as compare to other outlets. The results of the econometric model show the dependency of household level marketing decisions as a strategy to maximize their incomes in the long term. The model results also reveal that the quantity of honey sold, frequency extension contact, beekeeping experience, distance to nearest market, market information about each outlet, cooperative membership, and trust in buyers determine market outlet choice decision of honey producers in the study area. Expanding equal accessibility of infrastructures, establishing honey collection centers in potential production areas, increasing the frequency of extension contact, and organizing additional beekeepers into honey cooperatives is suggested.
Beekeeping is one of the oldest farming practices in Ethiopia as a result of its forests and woodlands which contain diverse plant species that provide surplus nectar and pollen to foraging bees (Workneh, 2011). The country has comparative advantage for beekeeping due to its favorable natural resource endowment for the production of honey and wax (MoA and ILRI, 2013). Ethiopia is among the major producer of honey both in Africa and in the world. For instance, in 2013, the country produced about 45,000 tons which accounted for about 27 and 3% of African and world honey production, respectively, which makes the country the largest producer in Africa and the tenth in the world (FAOSTAT, 2015).
Beekeeping is considered to be an income-generating activity that fits well with the concept of small-scale agricultural development (MoA and ILRI, 2013). Besides, it is also eco-friendly and does not compete for scarce land resources and provides off-farm employment and income-generating opportunity (Workenh, 2011). To support rural economy, agricultural production system should be supported by other income-generating activities such as beekeeping which is operated side by side (Desalegn, 2011).
Improved information and marketing facility enable farmers to plan their production more in line with market demand, to schedule their harvest at the most profitable time, to decide which market to sell their produce to, and to negotiate on a more even footing with traders (CIAT, 2004). However, current knowledge on bee product marketing is poor and inadequate for designing policies and institutions to overcome perceived problems in the marketing system (Awraris et al., 2015). According to MoA and ILRI (2013), enhancing the ability of poor smallholder farmers to reach markets and actively engaging them is one of the most pressing development challenges. Without having convenient marketing conditions, the possible increment in output, rural incomes, and foreign exchange resulting from the introduction of improved production technologies could not be effective.
Kaffa zone is highly suitable for beekeeping, and a large volume of honey is produced annually (Nuru, 2007). Kaffa zone, particularly Chena woreda, is expected to be potential for beekeeping activities associated with the high honey production by smallholder farmers in the zone. Despite high honey production, the farmers in the study area faced with the marketing problem due to remoteness of some kebeles, lack of market information, low farm-gate prices, and long market chain which results in low market participation of producers (Awraris et al., 2015).
Marketing outlet choice is one of the most important farm household decisions to sell their produce in different marketing outlets and has a great impact on household income (Shewaye, 2016). Market outlet choices are a household-specific decision, and several drivers have to be considered as a basis for such decision. Various empirical studies pointed out that smallholder farmers' decision to choose different market outlets can be affected by household characteristics, resource endowments, and access to different market outlets, prices, and transportation cost (Berhanu et al, 2013; Moti and Berihanu, 2012 and Shewaye, 2016), and they confirm that lack of market knowledge or difficulties in accessing markets that are more rewarding makes smallholder farmers to transact their produce through an outlet offering low price.
A number of studies have been done that have revealed factors influencing marketing channel choice decisions. Past empirical studies by Atsbaha (2015) and Kifle et al. (2015) attempted to identify factors affecting honey marketing channel choices among small holder producers in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. However, there were no comprehensive earlier studies which investigated the factors affecting honey producers' market outlets' choice decision is in the southern region where there is higher amount of honey producers in Ethiopia. Thus, research in this area is vital for understanding the problems related to the honey market outlet choice decision and its determinants. Although the analysis of determinants of market outlet choices is important, there are limited empirical studies in Ethiopia, particularly on the identification of factors affecting honey producer market outlet choice decisions in southwestern parts of the country.
Knowledge on how marketing routes will lead producers to select alternative market outlets to sell their supply that maximizes their profit which in turn results in increases of household income. The implication of these for national and international trades in apiculture is the way to design any policy or institutional innovation to improve marketing for the benefit of the poor (Kifle et al., 2015). However, the research on apiculture on the study area has largely focused on biophysical aspects such as yield enhancement, production practices, and bee disease (Awraris et al., 2015; Awraris et al., 2012; Gallmann and Thomas, 2012). Even though honey is an economically and socially important determinant of market outlets, choices have not yet been studied and analyzed for the target study area, where great potential of honey production exists. Therefore, this study attempts to investigate how the characteristics of honey producers, their resource endowment, production and marketing characteristics, and institutional service delivery jointly affect honey market outlet choice in Chena district.
MethodsDescription of the study area
The study was conducted in Southern Nations and Nationalities and Peoples Region of Ethiopia, Kaffa zone, Chena district, at three kebeles. The district was purposely chosen from out of 11 districts in the zone because of its high honey-producing potential (KZLFD, 2015). The district comprises of 39 of this 36 rural kebeles and has a total population of 158,449, of whom 78,150 are men and 80,299 women; 11,629 or 7.34% of its population are urban dwellers. The total area of Chena district is estimated to be 901.92 km2 that is endowed with natural tropical rain forests with suitable climates that favor high honeybee population density, and forest beekeeping is widely practiced.
DETERMINANTS OF HONEY PRODUCER MARKET OUTLET CHOICE IN CHENA DISTRICT, SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA: A MULTIVARIATE PROBIT REGRESSION ANALYSIS
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