Constraints and opportunities of horticulture production and marketing in Eastern Ethiopia

Constraints and opportunities of horticulture production and marketing in Eastern Ethiopia

Recommendations for improving horticultural marketing in Ethiopia

What are the major opportunities and constraints to improving horticultural production and . marketing in Ethopia? Using questionnaire-evidence and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools, this study examines the marketing channels and organisations in horticultural inputs and products in selected districts of Ethiopia.

Horticultural production is concentrated in the lowland areas, with most households producing vegetables, with a quarter of those surveyed growing fruits. Most vegetable producers rely on irrigation during the dry season when prices are high. High fertiliser and animal manure intensity is used. About a third of vegetable producers rely on local varieties, as improved varieties needed to produce the desired product are unavailable. There appears to be some adulteration of inputs which affect germination qualities of seeds and the efficacy of pesticides.

Major horticulture production constraints include pests, drought, shortage of fertiliser, and the price of fuel for pumping irrigation water. Survey respondents cited opportunities for boosting horticulture production that include increased market integration, the need for intensive production in response to increasing population pressure, farmers' awareness of the benefits, the current outreach program in relation to supportive government policy, and limited water harvesting.

The report finds major constraints relating to marketing of horticultural produce include lack of markets to absorb the production, low prices, a large number of middlemen, a lack of marketing institutions safeguarding farmers' interest, lack of coordination among producers to increase their bargaining power, imperfect pricing system, and a lack of transparency in market information system mainly in the export market. The documents key recommendations are:

  • organising traders and producers so they can work as partners
  • building both traders’ and producers’ business capacity, helping them to overcome their constraints and facilitating their use of market information
  • correcting the market through institutionalisation of the marketing system, coordinating the functioning of market brokers, implementing a grades and standards system, and improving the export system by improving the transparency in the price setting and credit system
  • the Government should review export prices, which are determined through negotiations.
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