Determinants of participation of small holder farmers in marketing of grain amaranth: A case of Kamuli District, Uganda.
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As a vegetable crop, grain amaranth plays an important role in improving household nutritional and economic status. Grain amaranth is still a new crop in Uganda's farming system, after being introduced by VEDCO in 2005 to curb malnutrition in Kamuli district. Production and consumption of the crop is still limited mainly due to lack of market, this has limited the purpose of production to domestic consumption with no incentive of producing a marketable surplus. A cross sectional study was conducted in Kamuli district to assess the determinants of small holder participation in grain amaranth marketing. A total of 150 grain amaranth farmers obtained through a multistage sampling technique, constituted the study sample. Findings revealed that grain amaranth production and marketing in Kamuli district is dominated by male headed households with land sizes allocated to grain amaranth production averaging 0.08 hectares. The decision to participate in grain amaranth marketing was positively influenced by; Gender of household head, Education levels of the household head, Grain amaranth yield, grain amaranth selling price, membership in a farmer group while farm size decreased the likelihood of selling grain amaranth. The results further reveal that the education status of the household head and yield positively influenced households to sell more grain amaranth with farmers who had participated more in field days as a promotion activity marketing less grain amaranth. Yield improvements are critical if increased market participation is to be realized. Therefore, research efforts should be directed towards generation and dissemination of grain amaranth varieties that are superior in production, consumption and nutrition attributes in order to stimulate massive production of the crop that will lead to higher production surpluses being realized.