Marketing of fresh produce by smallholder farmers : A case study of uThungulu District Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
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Smallholder farmers in South Africa and in other developing countries often have limited access to factors of production and information. Poor infrastructure, lack of marketing knowledge and lack of transport are amongst the many market-related constraints that smallholder farmers are facing. Consequently, such constraints limit their ability to access markets. This study was conducted in uThungulu District Municipality based on a sample of 80 farmers who were selected using stratified random sampling. The study made use of a structured questionnaire to collect data through face-to-face interviews. A binary logistic regression model was used to identify factors influencing marketing participation decisions among the sampled farmers. The empirical results showed that extension services contact, quality of roads to market, access to transport, distance to market, and timing of seeking markets had a statistically significant influence on market participation decisions. These findings suggest that an improvement in each of the significant variables can significantly influence farmer market participation decisions. Furthermore, based on the empirical results of the study, policy recommendations are suggested. These include improving dissemination of market information to farmers, encouraging farmers to seek markets before production, and encouraging farmers to add value to their produce.