Economic Analysis of the Role of Farmer Organizations in Enhancing Smallholder Potato Farmers’ Income in Middle Guinea

Emmanuel Tolno, Hajime Kobayashi, Matsumura Ichizen, Mohamed Esham, Boubacar Siddighi Balde

Abstract


Farmers’ organizations are inclusive of the poor and are charged with the purpose of becoming a market outlet for smallholder farmers in Guinea. Improving farmers’ income earning capability and agricultural productivity has been an important strategy of Guinea’s agriculture development policy. However, despite their growing importance, empirical studies on how farmers’ organizations have impacted their members’ income are limited in Guinea. This paper investigates the determinants and effects on farm income of group membership, using the sample of 90 smallholder potato producers in Middle Guinea. A probit model was used as a selection equation to identify factors that influence group membership decision by smallholder potato farmers. The results revealed that the age of the potato farmers, land ownership, extension service, credit access and off-farm income are positively associated with group membership while gender and education level of the farmer negatively influenced their decision to join farmer groups. Results of the second stage outcome equation found positive farm income effects of group membership. Furthermore, results revealed that farm income is predominantly determined by labor used, the size of the cultivated potato area, share of potato sold and potato market price. Since farmers are resource-poor and that farmer organizations are constrained by various institutional, technical and investment constraints despite their potential, it is recommended that favorable polices should be geared toward smallholder agriculture in Guinea in order to ensure the success of farmer organizations. Our results show that farmer groups can be an important institution for the transformation of smallholder farming, increase productivity and incomes thereby reducing poverty. Agricultural policies in Guinea should therefore focus more on the intensification of agriculture and farmers’ organizations and increase the market orientation of the smallholder farm sector.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jas.v7n3p123

Journal of Agricultural Science ISSN 1916-9752 (Print) ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)

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