Survey finds out shortage of market linkages for maize affecting farmers

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A survey conducted by Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI) has unveiled that the shortage of market linkage for maize has affected farmers in Banja Jabitehinan district in West Gojjam Zone of Amhara region.

The survey result titled “Findings of Value Chain Analysis and Market Survey in Ethiopia” has presented by Yazie Chanie, Senior Agricultural Economics Researcher of ARARI at Hilton Hotel on Wednesday.

He presented his findings during the Policy Dialogue and Dissemination Hybrid Workshop organized by InnoFood Africa (IFA), which explores climate-smart African crops in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.

The top four sources of maize seeds are own source, farmer cooperatives, government agencies, and local market.

Besides market insufficiency, low price of maize during peak harvest season, lack of timely input delivery, increasing cost of improved seeds and fertilizers, reduced use of short maturing maize varieties during drought season, high labor and land rent costs, among others, were identified as major barriers in maize value chain in Ethiopia.

Price variability of maize over time is also affecting farmers, the Researcher said.

On the other hand, the survey considered availability of development agents in the locality and short maturing of maize than other crop as opportunities in the crop production.

The farmer cooperatives provide high quality seeds to their members. The lowest source of maize seeds for the farmers is from international market (1%) and Non-Governmental Organizations NGOs (1%).

“This indicates government agencies, local markets, international markets and NGOs have minimal participation in sourcing of maize seeds for planting in Ethiopia,” Yazie said.

“Therefore, the government structure needs to step up efforts to provide the seeds to farmers because most of them are small scale farmers who are poor and sometimes cannot afford better seed quality,” he said, adding, “The government agencies and NGOs must also be involved in provision of quality seeds as their cooperation with the actors in maize farming will increase production and improve the value chain.”

He also suggests that decreasing costs of inputs such as improved seeds and fertilizer and implementing mechanized farming during pre-and-post harvest activities to get better yields.

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