Factors Influencing on-Farm Common Bean Profitability: The Case of Smallholder Bean Farmers in Babati District, Tanzania

Saimon K. Venance, Mshenga, P., Birachi, E.A.


Legumes are important food and cash crops in developing countries. In Tanzania, more than half the farmers grow several species of grain legumes which include common bean, groundnut, pigeonpea, cowpea, chickpea, peas and soybean. However, productivity of all grain legumes is still low and far below potential and this has impacted on profitability. The aim of this study was to contribute to improved bean profitability facts for income and food security in Tanzania. Multistage sampling procedure was used to select respondents from the four divisions in Babati district (Babati, Gorowa, Mbugwe and Bashnet). The first stage involved a purposive selection of two divisions from the four divisions mentioned. The second stage entailed the selection of six wards from the two divisions, using purposive sampling technique; four from Bashnet division and two from Babati division. The fourth stage entailed purposive selection of 9 villages from the six wards basing on bean production dominance. Then the final stage employed systematic sampling technique to select 200 bean farmers from the nine villages. Primary data was collected from the field using a structured interview schedule method. Secondary data were obtained from published literature from Babati District Council, Sokoine National Agricultural Library and Egerton University main library. Smallholder farmers’ gross margin as a proxy of profitability was analysed using Gross Margin Analysis procedure. Moreover, Multiple Regression Analysis approach was used to analyse factors affecting on-farm farmers’ gross margin. The study results showed that, at farm level, a gross margin of TZS 133,710.20/= (US$63.67) and TZS 307,283.70/= (US$146.33) for local and improved variety respectively was generated per acre per season. Moreover, age of respondents; gender; yield; selling price (farm-gate price); access to credit; and off-farm income affected the gross margin realized by smallholder farmers.

Keywords: Improved variety, Babati, VSLA, common bean, profitability

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