Agness Mzyece:
Factors Influencing Cowpea Producers’ Choice of Marketing Channels in Zambia

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Abstract: Cowpeas are an important food legume throughout central and southern Africa and Zambia in particular. They have the potential to contribute to poverty reduction, food security, income generation and even to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The development of the cowpea industry can also lead to the achievement of the Zambian Agricultural policy vision of promoting and facilitating the development of an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector which assures food security and increased incomes. However, to tap into the potential in the cowpea industry, the markets have to be set right. In setting the markets right, important aspects of marketing such as producer marketing choices should be considered. This is because increased reliance on markets as the foundation for development strategies has put a premium on understanding household market participation.

Marketing channel decisions are among the most critical decisions facing an organization and the chosen channels intimately affect all other marketing decisions (Berry .T, 2010). In an effort to identify interventions that could stimulate farmer participation in marketing, it is important to understand the factors that influence their choices of marketing channels. Previous studies have analyzed market participation decisions as being made sequentially with the decision of what volumes to buy or sell (Goetz, 1992; Key et. al., 2000; Holloway et. al., 2001; Bellemare and Barrett, 2006). However, it is unclear whether market participation decisions are related to choice of marketing channel decisions.

Secondary data from the third supplemental survey to the 1999/2000 post harvest survey, collected by CSO was used. The study employed the probit model to identify the factors that influence cowpea producers’ market participation decisions as well as their choice of marketing channels in Zambia.

The results showed that cowpea producers sold to a particular channel as long as it presented a ready market. Markets were the only significant factor with p-values of 0.025 and 0.000. The factors that influence the producers’ market participation decisions included price (P-value = 0.019), inventory (P-value = 0.024), transport (P-value = 0.043), level of mechanization (P-value = 0.004) and marital status (P-value = 0.000). The market participation decision and choice of marketing channel are therefore influenced by different factors such that policies to stimulate market participation for cowpea producers are not likely to affect the producers’ choice of marketing channel. The results also clarified that cowpea is mainly grown by the resource-poor farmers and that its market is largely informal.
This study therefore recommends the setting up of appropriate policies and infrastructure to encourage more market participants thus developing the cowpea value chain.

Paul Chimuka Samboko:
An Assessment of Factors Influencing the Profitability of Bean Production in Zambia

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Abstract: This study focused on determining the value accruing to producers of beans in Zambia and its influencing factors specifically taking a snapshot view of the 2006/2007 production year. The specific objectives were; to determine the market value of bean production; and to determine the socio-economic and demographic factors influencing the value accruing to bean producers. The sample consisted of 868 bean-producing households that were captured in the 2008 supplemental survey (CSO/FSRP 2008). A two-stage analysis strategy was used in this study. First, partial budgeting was used to determine the gross margin (GM) of the bean enterprise for each farmer. Second, the computed GM was then used as an explanatory variable in a regression model explaining value as a function of a number of hypothesized explanatory variables.

The results of the GM analysis suggest that bean production in Zambia is unprofitable on average. However, the observed gross margins varied across provinces and according to the marketing channel used. On average, households that did not sell their produce and those that sold to their neighbors recorded losses whilst those that sold to private traders within the district, within the village and those that sold to consumers outside the district recorded profits. The econometric results revealed that yield (p= 0.000), price (p=0.05), land ownership (p=0.093), household size (p=0.028), tillage method used (p=0.076), power source (p=0.008) are important determinants of profitability of bean production in Zambia.

Based on the findings, if bean production is to emerge as one of the major income sources for Zambian farmers, it is important that farmers are encouraged to follow recommended production practices to improve yields. In addition, conservation farming practices should be encouraged as they positively impact on profits. Farmers should also be encouraged to acquire title deeds for land as it encourages them to invest in land improvement and conservation practices. The results showed that private traders were the most profitable channel for bean marketing by farmers. It is important that a study that looks at the impact of transaction costs on the traders’ marketing decisions be conducted. Results suggest that bean production for the 2007/2008 produced mixed results as far as profitability is concerned, with some farmers recording profits whilst others recorded losses. Therefore, it is important that a study on the extent of resource use efficiency be conducted to determine by how much the farmers that made losses need to improve productivity if they are to profit from bean production. The study can also be extended to include non- market valuation on other consumed parts of the bean plant. Time series analysis should also be conducted to assess how the profitability of bean production has changed over time.

Edna Ngoma:
Supply Chain Participation of Cowpea Producers in Zambia
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Abstract: Cowpeas are an important food legume. They are drought tolerant with the potential to minimize income and yield risks, as well as meet nutritional demands. Despite these benefits, the pulse industry has offered a limited line of cowpea products. There is a dearth in information on cowpeas supply chain participation, and knowledge with regard to the determinants of the growers’ participation in the cowpeas supply chains is unclear. Using data from the third Supplemental Survey to the 1999/2000 Post Harvest Survey carried out in 2008 by CSO and FSRP, this paper consolidates information on cowpea production and supply chain participation determinants in Zambia. The empirical estimation was carried out by use of the probit model.

Southern Province accounts for the highest proportion (55%) of cowpea producers, followed by Central province with a proportion of 12% of the producers. The probit results indicated that the following factors were statistically significant in determining supply chain participation; price of output (p=0.06), mechanization (0.00), land under cultivation (0.06), ownership of vehicular transport (0.01) and total income (0.01).

Development of appropriate, simple and cheap technologies can enhance supply chain participation, and also value addition possibilities should be explored to create new markets and raise income generated from cowpeas production. The use of improved seed varieties and production practices can be considered (as an alternative to increasing the land under cowpeas cultivation) to achieve larger outputs which ultimately affect supply chain participation positively.

Esther Zulu:
Profitability of Smallholder Cowpea Production in Zambia
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Abstract: Pulses represent an important group of edible leguminous crops with unique potential to address the health, income creation, and agricultural sustainability needs of developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia. In Zambia there is recent realization concerning the importance of pulses, hence increase in production by small holder farmers. Various studies are thus being undertaken to study different pulses. This study focused on the profitability of an important pulse crop in Zambia i.e. cowpeas. The general objective of this study was to determine the profitability of cowpeas were as the specific objective was to determine the factors that affect profitability of cowpeas. This was done by carrying out a gross margin and regression analysis. The data used in this study was secondary data from the third supplemental survey which was collected by Food Security Research Project and Central Statistical Office. STATA was used to analyze the data and carry out both the gross margin as well as the regression analysis.

The average gross margin was found to be positive. Several factors were found to affect profitability of cowpeas, such as production costs, yields, area planted, farm gate price and land tenure. Yields, land tenure and farm gate price had a positive influence on profitability but production costs and area had a negative influence. The study shows cowpea production by smallholder in Zambia was profitable. The implications of these results were that more farmers should be encouraged to grow cowpeas not just for subsistence but for commercial production as well. Another recommendation was that value addition of cowpeas should be encouraged.

Natasha Chilundika:
Market Participation of Bean Smallholder Farmers in Zambia: A Gender-Based Approach
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Abstract: In its bid to diversify the agricultural sector, the Zambian government has embarked on increasing the production of several crops including beans, which has a number of favorable characteristics that merit its high production among smallholder farmers. As such, using nationally representative data from the third (2008) supplemental survey to the 1999/2000 post harvest survey of small and medium scale (smallholder) farmers, this paper assess the factors influencing market participation of smallholder bean producers in the country using a gender based approach. The participation decision is modeled and estimated using a two stage model involving a probit and a truncated regression.

The data indicated about 20 percent of bean producers are female and older than their male counterparts; average age of females was 54 years compared to 47 for males. Additionally, a higher proportion of female producers had no formal education compared to males. Wealth was, as expected higher among males and males having a higher ownership of radios also meant they had better access to price information than females. Access to transportation was significantly lower among female producers than male producers (42% to 78%).

Probit models were estimated to determine the market participation of female bean producers in Zambia. Model results show that the market participation decision among producers is a function of area planted, yield, wealth, alliances, transportation availability on the farm, location, age and education level, suggesting that production, market access and demographic factors play a key role in participation decisions. These results also suggest that production and market access challenges are a major hindrance to participation. Female producers are influenced by similar factors as male producers, with additional influence coming from price and income. Further, results show that price does not provide an adequate incentive for producers to participate in the market and, thus, price policies may be inadequate as a tool in increasing farmer participation.

Sunga Chalwe:
Factors Influencing Bean Producers' Choice of Marketing Channels in Zambia
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Abstract: Pulse based foods have potential to help mitigate food and nutrition security problems, which are important issues and of great concern especially in 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 channels. 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.

Susan Chiona:
Technical and Allocative Efficiency of Smallholder Maize Farmers in Zambia
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Abstract: Maize is Zambia‟s staple food and is widely grown by smallholder farmers throughout the country. The productivity of this crop has been persistently low despite various private and public sector interventions. This paper determines the technical and allocative efficiency of smallholder maize farmers in Zambia. Most studies on efficiency in Zambia have used parametric methods to estimate efficiency. These methods ignore the importance of individual farms. This study appreciates individual farms and hence opts to use a non-parametric method of estimation, the Data Envelopment Analysis. It further links the observed efficiency or inefficiency to farmers‟ socio-economic characteristics through regression analysis.

The results indicate very low levels of technical and allocative efficiency among smallholder maize farmers. Technical efficiency scores range from 0.0005 through 1 while allocative efficiency ranges between .0005 and 1. Average technical efficiency stands at 15 percent with only 0.23 percent of the farmers being efficient and allocative efficiency stands at 12 percent with only 0.27 percent of the farmers being efficient. This means that on average, the level of inputs can be reduced by 85 percent while costs can be reduced by 88percent without reducing output.

The results also show very low utilization of chemical fertilizers despite its positive influence on technical efficiency. Less than half (42%) of the farmers captured in the survey used chemical fertilizer while 6 per cent used organic fertilizers and 7 percent used both chemical and organic fertilizers. Use of hybrid seed, farm size and household size, access to extension services and education attainment of household head are significant determinants of economic efficiency. Involvement in community agricultural activities, use of organic or chemical fertilizers and livestock ownership significantly reduces technical inefficiency among farmers.

Based on these findings, policy makers in agriculture should focus on promoting the use of certified hybrid varieties and chemical fertilizers and diversification of farming enterprises to include livestock. Farmers groups should be encouraged and strengthened to improve access to market information and other extension services. There is also need to improve the scale of extension work. Education facilities should be increased for long term results and farmer education should be emphasized for the short term.