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Smallholder-based Avocado production and Marketing Systems in Sidama Zone of Southern Ethiopia

Abstract: 

The Sidama zone of the southern region in Ethiopia is an important source of avocado fruits for the regional and national markets. However, there have been meager studies that address the avocado production and marketing system in the region. Therefore, the objective of this study was to characterize the smallholder-based avocado production, postharvest handling and marketing systems in three districts of Sidama Zone (Dale, Bensa and Bona Zuria). A combination of focus group discussions, household survey and discussion on Innovation Platforms (value chain actors and service providers)were undertaken. The data was subjected to descriptive statistics and analyses of variance (ANOVA) test using Statistical Software for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20). All the respondents in Bensa and Bona and 75% (N = 24) of the respondents in Dale district held only the mixed non-grafted avocado varieties, not the improved and grafted avocado varieties. Avocado is mainly grown as an integral component of the coffee and Enset-based agroforestry system in the Sidama areas. However, the use of avocado trees as shades for coffee and Enset reduced the productivity of coffee mainly due the heavy avocado shade preventing entrance of light to the understory coffee plantation. The most important determinants for the number of avocado held by producers were sex, age, educational status of the household head, land holding size, pest and disease damage and extension access of household heads.The producers’ access to extension support on improved fruit agronomy and tree management practices was generally meager. In association with improper harvesting of avocado fruits from the big trees, about 25% of the fruits are lost or damaged during harvesting. An estimated 33% of the avocado fruits are lost during ripening (13%) and retailing (20%) of the fruits mainly due to improper postharvest handling practices. This implies the need for improved fruit transportation, ripening and storage techniques. Proper extension support is required to improve avocado production, harvesting, postharvest handling and marketing systems in the Sidama areas of southern region. This study suggested value chain development approach to address major constraints and enhance avocado production and marketing in the Sidama areas. 

Publisher: 
Ethiopian Economic Association
Primary Descriptors: 

<Harvesting>; <Marketing channels>

Secondary Descriptor: 

Agricultural systems 

Geographic Descriptors: 
Southern Region - Sidama
Cataloge Date: 
06/21/2016
Broad Subject heading: 
Fruit trade
Publication catagory: 
Content type: 
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa
Chapter conference: