Stable Food Crops Turning Into Commercial Crops: Case Studies Of Teff, Wheat And Rice In Ethiopia
Teff, wheat and rice are becoming important market oriented crops in Ethiopia. This study aims at measuring the level of market orientation of households in these crops, identifying the important market places and market outlets used by producers, and analyzing the determinants of market orientation in these crops. Results are based on analysis of data collected from community (peasant association) and household surveys in three districts in three regional states of the country in 2005. Analysis of descriptive information and econometric analysis are used. About 65 - 77% of households produce these market oriented commodities in the study areas, on about 27 – 44% of the total cultivated land. About 47 – 60% of the produce of these market oriented commodities is sold. The important market places for producers of these commodities are the district town markets and markets located at the peasant associations within the district. Wholesalers and retailers are the most important buyers from producers. Average distance to market places for these commodities is about two walking hours. Econometric analyses show that market orientation of households is affected by a host of factors related to household demographics, household endowments of human and physical capital, access to institutional services, and village level factors. Size of cultivable land and traction power, and household labor supply are important factors that induce households to be market oriented. While household size tends to favor food security objectives, number of dependents is associated with market orientation. Population control measures could contribute to market orientation through their effect of reducing household subsistence requirements. Our results also imply that interventions to improvements markets operations in order to benefit producers need to consider the operation of district level markets. Improving the operations of factor markets of land, traction and farm labor could contribute to enhancing market orientation of farm households. Special attention is needed to female headed households in the process of commercial transformation of subsistence agriculture. The development and institutionalization of marketing extension warrants due consideration.