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SMALLHOLDER FARMERS’ PARTICIPATION IN SEED PRODUCING COOPERATIVES IN SOUTHERN ZONE OF TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 0308-05]
This research sought to examine the participation of smallholder farmers in seed producing cooperatives in the Southern zone of Tigray, with the goal of assessing the factors affecting their participation and identifying the determinants of participation. Both probability and non-probability sampling techniques were employed to select 192 sample households. Interview schedules with respondents and focus group discussions were used to gather qualitative and quantitative data for the study. Descriptive statistics like frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviations and inferential statistics such as t-test and χ2-test were employed to see mean difference and association, respectively, between both participation categories. The descriptive statistics showed that, out of the total fourteen variables, eleven were significant at a 1%, 5% and 10% probability level between the participation categories. A binary logit model was employed to identify the determinants of participation. The model showed that the participation of smallholder farmers in SPCs was significantly influenced negatively by the age and sex of the head of household, and the distance to the SPC office, and positively by participation in field days, participation in trainings and family labor endowment. Therefore, enhancing institutional support services by creating village based seed producing clusters, organizing trainings, field days and using labor saving pre-harvest and post-harvest technologies, would contribute to improving the participation of smallholder farmers in SPCs.