Logistical estimation of the probability of mainstream market participation among small-scale livestock farmers: a case study of the Northern Cape province
Livestock farming significantly contributes to income generation and the improvement of the livelihoods of the rural poor in the Northern Cape. However, profitability and sustainability in the sector are constrained by low returns to investment due to a number of factors. The study investigates the factors influencing mainstream market participation among small-scale farmers in the five districts of the province. The main aim is to calculate the probability of small-scale farmers selling their livestock to more profitable mainstream markets, for example auction pens, against the odds of selling to informal speculators. A binary logistic regression model is applied to primary data collected from 60 sampled households in the districts of Kgalagadi, Pixley ka Seme, Frances Baard, Siyanda and Namakua. The partial effects of the conditional probability of selling livestock to mainstream markets and the impact of changes to the variables on the probability of selling to formal markets are estimated. The results show that farming experience, extension visits and infrastructure have a profoundly positive effect on the probability of small-scale farmers marketing their animals to the mainstream markets. On the other hand, household size, distance to the nearest market, and whether or not farmers have outstanding debts have a negative impact on the probability of them selling their animals to the formal markets. A unit increase in the farmerâ€™s debts, household size and distance to nearest market decreases the probability of profitable operation by 69.84%, 9.04% and 2.79% respectively. This result implies that an intervention policy is needed to alleviate these constraints that are impeding participation in the mainstream markets.
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