Full Length Research Paper
Agricultural commercialization raises farm incomes and improves living standards in African farming populations. Despite its importance, it remains low in Africa. Limited studies in agricultural commercialization have explored different tools for analysis given the agricultural commercialization indicators with zeros and fractions. This paper addresses methodological issue and adds literature on factors affecting agricultural commercialization. Agricultural commercialization is explored in Zhombe North Rural District using 2017/2018 cross-sectional data collected from 165 households. The zero-inflated beta regression model was used to find the drivers of agricultural commercialization. Crop output market participation share served as a proxy for agricultural commercialization. Land size, fertilizer use, use of credit, and certified seed proportion had significant positive effects on agricultural commercialization. In contrast, household head age, food cropping land size, and off-farm employment significantly influenced agricultural commercialization. The results for the model are similar to the results in previous studies using the Tobit model. The study recommends policies that promote the availability and usage of inputs to improve agricultural commercialization in the study area.
Key words: Agriculture, commercialization, smallholder farmers, zero-inflated beta regression.
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