Marketing channel preference among smallholder cocoyam farmers in South Africa


Marketing channel choice makes important contributions to the incomes and other livelihood attributes among smallholder farmers in developing countries. Often considered from a number of perspectives, the dominant view articulated suggests an advantageous integration into formal market channels. This position is questioned as it has implications for smallholder farmers’ food security and rural incomes. Using a mixed methods approach, the study collected primary data from 174 smallholder farmers and applied both a descriptive and multinomial logit regression model to analyze factors contributing to cocoyam production and market channel choices among respondents in the study area. Findings indicate that financial returns and available markets were key factors in cocoyam production, while amount received was a driver of market channel choice among 89% of respondents who sold directly at farm-gate. Farmers’ age (p=0.044), household size (p=0.043), distance to market (p=0.021), additional income (p=0.017) and amount received (p=0.014) were significant variables (p<.05) in the determinants of market channel choice. The study recommended improving market information provision and strengthening farmer associations which will enable smallholder farmers in rural communities to make informed choices with respect to produce price, access other markets and consolidate their collective market bargaining position.


cocoyam; developing countries; farm-gate; market channel; regression; smallholder farmers

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Published : 2021-12-28

Nwafor, C. (2021). Marketing channel preference among smallholder cocoyam farmers in South Africa. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 62(4), 407–414.

Christopher Ugochukwu Nwafor
Christopher Ugochukwu Nwafor, Department of Agriculture, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa  South Africa

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