Effect of market access provided by farmer organizations on smallholder vegetable farmer’s income in Tanzania
This paper (PDF) by Cogent Food & Agriculture evaluates the effect of market accessed through farmer organizations on household income in Tanzania. Limited market information and market access are two major obstacles to increased farmer’s income in Tanzania. Formation of a farmer organization is one way to overcome these challenges by improving access to markets while reducing transaction costs. Except for gender of the household head, average farm size owned, distance to the market, and transportation cost, there were no statistically significant differences between vegetable growers who belonged to a farmer organization and those who do not. Market access has a significant positive and robust effect on farm income. Smallholder vegetable farmers with an average farm size of 0.5 acre who had access to the market provided by farmer organization have more income per season than vegetable farmers who did not belong to the group membership. Also, the cost incurred for transporting vegetables to the market and the distance was different between farmers who belonged to a group and those who were not members. So, farmer organizations can benefit farmers by increasing their incomes and providing a good platform for the provision of farm inputs and marketing of produce, which can immensely enhance farm productivity and increase farmers’ incomes. Thus, to successfully increase market access and farmers’ incomes through active participation in farmer organizations, there is need to enact enabling policies that will strengthen these farmer organizations’ capacity in sourcing, disseminating market information and searching for produce markets. This is important because strong farmer organizations will effectively bridge farmers towards market access, thereby improving their access to high-value markets and improving their livelihoods through increased incomes and enhanced nutrition. This will assist in sustainably transforming smallholder vegetable farming as a viable business venture through increased productivity and incomes.