This article aims to contribute to a better understanding of variables that influence the motivation behind the preferred choice of cattle marketing channels in north eastern communal area of Namibia. The data required for the study were collected through a small-scale survey, key informants in-depth interviews and review of secondary data were analysed using Multinomial Logistical Regression. The results showed that the majority (62%) of small scale cattle farmers preferred to trade through informal marketing channel (comprising open market, private sales and butcheries). The abattoir was the single most preferred channel for 38% and the only available formal market. Four factors are identified motivating cattle farmers to choose this marketing channel namely, the gender of the household head, marketing information received, education and number of livestock sold. The results also suggest that formal marketing is relatively relevant to farmers with large cattle numbers and meet the required standards from abattoirs. The study recommended that in order to increase the number of cattle marketed through the formal channels, there is need to improve overall herd size, as well as setting attractive prices coupled with reduced delays in making payments to the farmers for their livestock sold.
Key words: Formal market, informal market, factors, sales, agriculture, livestock.