Market orientation and performance of smallholder tomato producers

Keywords: market orientation, market performance, tomato, OLS estimation, Ethiopia.


Purpose. The aim of this study is to identify the determinants of market orientation of smallholder tomato producers and to determine the status of market performance along the market chain using the example of Zewaydugda district of Ethiopia.

Methodology / approach. This research was conducted at Zewaydugda district in Oromia regional state of Ethiopia. For conducting this study, we selected five kebeles which are the smallest administrative units in the country, and a total of 191 smallholder tomato producers randomly. We used descriptive analysis, marketing performance analysis and econometrics models to analyse the data. We used a kobo toolbox to collect the data from the respondents. We collected the data from respondents using a face-to-face interview in 2022.

Results. The crop marketability index (CMI) showed that 82.96 % of the produced tomatoes were sold to the market with an average selling price of 1143.2 Birr per quintal and the average market orientation index (MOI) of producers was 30.54 % and it means that farmers are moderately market oriented in tomato production in the study area. The econometrics result of Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) estimation showed that, family size, access to credit, access to improved seed, and amount of land allocated for tomato production significantly affects the farmer’s market orientation. In addition, the result of market performance analysis showed that 61.64 % of the total gross marketing margin accounted for by traders while 38.36 % – by producers. Furthermore, the study identified that: lack of fair sales price, lack of market information, poor linkage with other value chain actors, and perishability were the dominant marketing problems faced by tomato producers.

Originality / scientific novelty. Our research stands out in the field of market orientation and the performance of smallholder tomato producers due to its innovative approach and unique contributions to existing knowledge. While previous studies have explored the relationship between market orientation and performance in agricultural contexts, particularly focusing on large-scale operations, our study specifically targets smallholder tomato producers, a demographic often overlooked in research. Thanks to our thorough empirical investigation and theoretical framework, we not only advance the understanding of market orientation in the agricultural sector but also provide actionable recommendations to enhance the performance and sustainability of smallholder tomato producers in diverse market environments.

Practical value / implications. The findings of this research can be used for policy makers. Thus, policies focusing on reducing illegal brokers, increasing farmers’ awareness to allocate more cultivable land, reducing the price difference among producers and traders, enhancing farmers to get access to credit and access to improved seed, strengthening market linkages among the value chain actors needs better attention to improve tomato producers’ market orientation and marketing performance of the study area.


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How to Cite
Derbe, S. Y., Weldeyohanis Kifle, S., Yimenu, S. M., Shiferaw Geleta, D., & Woldegiorgis, B. S. (2024). Market orientation and performance of smallholder tomato producers. Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, 10(1), 184–202.