Smallholder farmers dominate maize production in Uganda. They produce limited quantities of the crop and market individually. Collective action offers an opportunity of reducing transaction costs, increasing bargaining power thus making it possible to contract with large buyers for better prices. Masindi Seed and Grain Growers Association Limited (MSGGL) with help from Uganda Development Trust (UDET), African Development Bank (ADB) and Masindi District Local Government constructed a 3000 metric tons store to help farmers bulk and get better prices. However, the store has been underutilized since 1999 leaving out farmers on the benefits of collective marketing. A survey of 253 maize famers forming two strata of participants and non-participants was employed. Descriptive statistics are used to explain preference for each marketing option while the Tobit model analyzed factors for intensity of participation. Lack of trust, stringent requirements, delayed payments, absence of groups, lack of information, high costs of marketing, lack of interest, low price incentive and time consumption explain poor participation in collective marketing. Better prices, reliable markets, availability of training and extension, availability of credit and availability of input loans encourage collective marketing. Price of maize offered at the collective centre, distance to the marketing centre, land size, income of the farmer and age of the farmer influence the intensity of participation in collective marketing. There is need to establish more collection centres, improve road networks and quality regulation to ensure price incentives for better quality maize grain.
Key words: Collective action, market access, smallholder maize farmers.
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