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Determinants of smallholder commercialization of food crops: Theory and evidence from Ethiopia


  • Pender, John
  • Alemu, Dawit


"In this paper, we develop a theoretical farm household model of food crop production and marketing decisions, derive testable hypotheses concerning the determinants of these decisions, and test these hypotheses, using data on cereal production and marketing collected from a nationally representative survey of 7,186 farm households in Ethiopia. Focusing on production and marketing decisions for teff and maize, the two most important crops in Ethiopia, we find that most producers of these crops are either autarkic or net buyers (especially for maize) and that net buyers and autarkic households are poorer in many respects than net sellers. This implies that interventions to increase cereal productivity will favorably affect distribution for most producers. The econometric analysis shows that increasing production of teff and maize is the most important factor contributing to increased sales, and that increased smallholder access to roads, land, livestock, farm equipment, and traders is key to enabling increased smallholder production and commercialization of these crops." from Authors' Abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Pender, John & Alemu, Dawit, 2007. "Determinants of smallholder commercialization of food crops: Theory and evidence from Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 745, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:745

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    Cited by:

    1. Akinlade, Roseline J. & Balogun, Olubunmi L. & Obisesan, Adekemi A., 2013. "Commercialization of Urban Farming: The Case of Vegetable Farmers in Southwest Nigeria," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 161639, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    2. Ferrière, Nathalie & Suwa-Eisenmann, Akiko, 2015. "Does Food Aid Disrupt Local Food Market? Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 114-131.
    3. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Jaleta, Moti, 2010. "Commercialization of Smallholders: Is Market Participation Enough?," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 96159, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
    4. Nathalie Ferrière & Akiko Suwa-Eisenmann, 2014. "Does food aid disrupt local food market? Evidence from rural Ethiopia," FOODSECURE Working papers 26, LEI Wageningen UR.
    5. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Jaleta, Moti, 2013. "Policy Imperatives of Commercial Transformation of Smallholders: Market Orientation Versus market Participation in Ethiopia," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 160580, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    6. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Tegegne, Azage, 2012. "Market Orientation and Market Participation of Smallholders in Ethiopia: Implications for Commercial Transformation," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 125847, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Ferrière, Nathalie & Suwa-Eisenmann, Akiko, 2014. "Does food aid disrupt local food market?," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182693, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item


    Smallholder production; Small farmers; household consumption; Market access; Commercial behavior; Market participation; Cereal crops;

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