Cereal Market Performance of Mekelle Market, Tigray, Ethiopia
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The general objective of the study is to evaluate the performance of cereal market and the specific objectives are: to analyze the current status of cereal markets, to identify constraints of the cereal market, to analyze the integration of markets around Mekelle, and to analyze the role of cooperative societies in Tigray in the out put market. The populations of the respondents are 50 traders, 50 consumers and 100 farmers and 25 experts that is, total of 225. The method of sampling is simple random sampling for traders and systematic sampling method for consumers and farmers. This is because there is no list of consumers and farmers coming to the market inaddition the list of the farmers in each tabia is huge that makes the simple random sampling more difficult, so as a solution the systematic random sampling method is chosen. The performance of the cereal market using concentration ratio has shown that the cereal market is competitive that is the market share of the 4 largest traders is 22.31%, 19.12%, 20.3%, 16.73%, and 13.9% for wheat, tef, sorghum, others and all cereals respectively. In addition the research finds that most markets around Mekelle are integrated and the total gross marketing margin is computed to be 8.7% and 9 % for wheat and barley, respectively. This shows that the farmers’ share is high that is 91.3% for wheat and 91% for barley and even it is more than that if it is calculated taking the farmer retailers’ price that is about 93.37% and 93% for wheat and barley, respectively. The identified cereal market problems are: infrastructure problem followed by price related problems, supply problems, lack of proper contract agreement and enforcements and lack of real and timely information, and demand shortage. The recommendations given are: Expand and strengthen the already started market information system of the region, that is, weakly dissemination of price information through the local radio and notice board and the biweekly publishing magazine of market information. Increase the knowledge of farmers and traders through adult education programs and extension services especially that of marketing related extension services. Cooperatives together with government participation in the market can be solutions to the long marketing chain, market failure, to eliminate mal practices, to add value, to reduce costs, to increase satisfaction and generally to improve the market and marketing systems. Financial constraint is still problem of farmers, so needs to strength the saving and credit cooperatives to handle the problem, which will have dual advantage that is solving the capital shortage and reduce food insecurity. Therefore, cooperatives should be given enough technical and financial support .