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Examining the farmer-buyer relationships in vegetable marketing channels in Eswatini

Bongiwe Porrie Dlamini-Mazibuko, Stuart Ferrer and Gerald Ortmann

Agrekon, 2019, vol. 58, issue 3, 369-386

Abstract: Vegetable farming is the main source of livelihood for smallholder farmers in Eswatini. However, the production and marketing challenges they faced inhibits the farmers from benefiting fully, which calls for relational transactions to enhance exchange efficiency. Therefore, this study aims to determine the nature of relationship constructs between vegetable farmers selling to formal and informal channels. Data elicited from 170 farmers were analysed using factor analysis, multiple regression analysis and discriminant analysis. Results revealed that farmers derived satisfaction from the price offered and communication, while trust was derived from satisfaction, communication and duration of the relationship, and commitment was derived from trust in both channels. The discriminant analysis results revealed that there is statistical significant difference between the channels. Farmers supplying formal markets perceived levels of satisfaction, trust, and commitment better than those supplying informal markets. The results also indicated that satisfaction and trust were the best predictors of the nature of the relationships. The lack of written contracts and low produce quantity purchased by the formal markets contributes to the low-level establishment of the farmer-buyer relationships. Therefore, coordinated supply chains and supplier-development approaches are necessary to complement the logistical requirements associated with fresh produce and to create mutual benefits.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/03031853.2019.1596824

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