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Open AccessArticle

Vegetable Business and Smallholders’ Food Security: Empirical Findings from Northern Ethiopia

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Department of Human Geography and Spatial Panning, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Department of Rural Development and Agricultural Extension, College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mekelle University, Mekelle 231, Ethiopia
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Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030743
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
In Ethiopia, there have been increased efforts to promote market-oriented vegetable production. Given that food security is a crucial issue in Ethiopia, the question is whether market-oriented vegetable production will actually help farmers to become more food secure. Using a mixed methods approach, the present research gathered empirical evidence on the determinants of participation in the vegetable business and its food security impacts in the Raya Azebo district. The Heckman two-stage selection model was used to identify factors affecting participation in the vegetable business and its effects on several food security outcomes. A thematic analysis was applied to the qualitative data. The results show that a farmer’s participation in the vegetable business increased significantly with adequate household productive resources (e.g., land size and access to irrigation), cooperative memberships and access to extension services. On the other hand, the age of the head of household, the market distance and risk perceptions significantly decreased participation. Additionally, the results indicate participation in the vegetable business results not only in higher food availability and access but also in lower food variety and diet diversity scores. Participation has less of an impact on per capita kilocalorie consumption and child anthropometric measures of food security. The policy implication is that, while Ethiopia is going ahead with inclusive market-driven approaches to food security, alternative mechanisms must be put in place to address the negative impacts and to empower those living in the most vulnerable conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: food security; irrigation; non-participants; participants; Heckman two-stage model; vegetables business food security; irrigation; non-participants; participants; Heckman two-stage model; vegetables business
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gebru, K.M.; Leung, M.; Rammelt, C.; Zoomers, A.; van Westen, G. Vegetable Business and Smallholders’ Food Security: Empirical Findings from Northern Ethiopia. Sustainability 2019, 11, 743. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030743

AMA Style

Gebru KM, Leung M, Rammelt C, Zoomers A, van Westen G. Vegetable Business and Smallholders’ Food Security: Empirical Findings from Northern Ethiopia. Sustainability. 2019; 11(3):743. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030743

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gebru, Kebede M.; Leung, Maggi; Rammelt, Crelis; Zoomers, Annelies; van Westen, Guus. 2019. "Vegetable Business and Smallholders’ Food Security: Empirical Findings from Northern Ethiopia" Sustainability 11, no. 3: 743. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030743

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