In Ethiopia, wheat is becoming an essential source of income for farmers even though it is still a fundamental food crop. While the major proportion is kept for consumption, farmers sell part of their wheat produce. The main objectives of this paper are to assess the level of commercialization and its determinants of wheat producers in the four major producing regions. Quantitative primary data was collected from December 2013 to January 2014. The structured questionnaire was used to help collect quantifiable data from wheat producer households. Econometric tools were employed for the analysis of wheat producers’ commercialization and its determinants. The findings indicate that about 27% of the wheat produced is being used for sale with the highest and lowest in Oromia (41%) and Tigray (17%) innovation platform sites, respectively. The results also reveal that most of the commercialization index falls within 25 and 50%. This indicates that wheat is becoming an essential cash crop to supplement household incomes. The empirical results of Tobit model show that educational level of head household, livestock size expressed in Tropical Livestock Unit (TLU), amount of wheat produced, and credit access, affect wheat commercialization positively and significantly while distance to the market and family size affect commercialization of farmers negatively. Finally, based on the findings of the research, some technical, institutional and policy that empower farmers through organizing in groups, training, and contractual arrangement with millers are needed to improve wheat productivity and linkage of wheat farmers to market.
Key words: Commercialization, Tobit model, SARD-SC project, IP, wheat, Ethiopia.
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