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FARMERS MARKET ACCESS AND CASH CROP ADOPTION: EVIDENCE FROM NORTH SHOA ZONE ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 0308-10]
Even though farmers face a number of barriers in accessing markets, there is a high potential to derive livelihoods from market-oriented agriculture. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the farmer’s market access and cash crop adoption in Ethiopia. Its information was gathered through questionnaires, with a sample of 345 farmers analyzed, quantitatively using descriptive and inferential analyse; interviews conducted with 8 office workers were analyzed qualitatively. The findings of the study show that Farmers are ready to adapt to cash crops but that there are obstacles in accessing requirements to produce cash crops. Most of the farmers are interested in participating in emerging markets, but they are limited in their access it because of prohibitive costs, lack of market information, poor strategies used by farmers and unions, and lack of transparency in the supply chain. Cash crop adoption is significantly affected by age, educational level, farm size, market experience, types of product produced, product sufficiency, product quantity, business skill, price variation, and level of farmers' benefit from the market. Meanwhile, the farmer’s market access is significantly determined by supply chain, product and market risk, farmer’s collective action, and strategies to
access the market. Therefore, we recommend the government and NGOs take measures to remove the obstacles to adopting cash crops, accessing markets and becoming competent by providing appropriate information and training to improve the livelihood of small-scale farmers.