Smallholder goat farmers’ market participation in Choma District, Zambia
With recent increases in demand for animal products smallholder goat producers have an opportunity to improve their livelihoods by increased market access and market participation. Thus this study was carried out to identify the live goat chain actors, their role, linkages, power relations and practices in the supply chain; to establish the institutional support services and the enabling environment under which the smallholder goat farmers operate in Choma district. To accomplish these tasks both qualitative and quantitative data were collected through use of semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and a household survey of 105 smallholder household goat farmers selected randomly. Based on this information, goat market channels were mapped and profit margins calculated. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the household data. The study outcomes indicate that live goats from Choma district are marketed through three major channels, namely the urban trader, rural trader and trader Choma market channel which are all indirect marketing channels. The market actors in these channels were producers, traders (urban and rural), wholesalers, retailers and input service providers, with a significant amount of goats channelled through the urban trader channel. To analyse the performance of the goat market, costs, profit and market margins were calculated for each market channel. The majority of the respondents were male standing at 65.4% while the females were 34.6%, the mean family size was nine and meanwhile, 51.9% of the respondents had attained primary level of education. Respondents were involved in goat production for an average of 9.2 years with 49% producing an average of 12 goats annually. Farmers dentified high disease prevalence, lack of production skills, lack of access to market information, high cost of transportation, lack of access to credit, and lack of market infrastructure as the constraints in the goat chain. Results of the Kruskal – Wallis nonparametric test of independence ( P = 0.05) revealed that there is no statistical difference between the three market outlets with regard to experience of the farmer, farm size, herd size, annual household income and family size while cost of production was significant across the groups. Study findings highlighted that there is need to enhance production through improved provision of veterinary services, access to credit, and extension services. The study recommends fostering of partnerships among the chain actors to ensure that there is creation of an enabling environment for easy flow of market information and infrastructure development to improve the goat marketing system.
Key words: Chain dynamics, constraints, market chain, market participation, transaction cost
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