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The objective of this study was to investigate the degree of, and the condition under which smallholder beef producers in Hanh Phuoc commune, Nghia Hanh district, Quang Ngai province engaged in the beef market. The hypothesis of this study was that the participation of rural farmers to market is influenced by household characteristics and institution and market context. The present study combined both qualitative and quantitative techniques in collecting data and information, and simple linear regression analysis to determine key factors of market participation. The empirical results found evidences that beef cattle production carried much implication and potentials for smallholder producers, especially the poor households to escape poverty and generate income. Despite of that, the households did not participate in the beef market out of choice but essentially under compulsion. This resulted from their limited resources (access to land, cash income and experience in production and marketing) and the need for income to meet critical consumption demands. Moreover, the market context where the households did transactions with traders contained high risks and uncertainty due to unreliable provision of market pricing information and market collusion among traders in setting price. In such given context, the household incurred high costs, both invisible and visible, in transactions. As consequence of these factors, they were incorporated in the beef market under adverse conditions.



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