A.I. Agholor1*, K. Ogujiuba2, I.N Shongwe3
1Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management, University of Mpumalanga, PMB X11283 Nelspruit, South Africa
2Department of Development Studies, University of Mpumalanga, PMB X11283 Nelspruit, South Africa
3Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management, University of Mpumalanga, PMB X11283 Nelspruit, South Africa
(Manuscript received 19 July 2022; accepted for publication 17 February 2023)
Abstract. Restricted access to markets and complex rules remain a global barrier to growing small enterprises. A randomized sample of 200 farmers were carefully selected for the study. The study assessed farmers methods of linking to markets in Mbombela South Africa and analyse the determinants of engaging in specific types of markets. Structured and semi-structured questionnaires divided into sections were applied. The descriptive statistics and logistic regression methods were used for data analysis. The results showed that majority of smallholder farmers used informal markets and linkage to market information is through cell phone. Some of the major challenges farmers faced when accessing markets were transportation and inadequate market information. The empirical results of the study showed that the variables that positively influenced the choice of specific types of markets by farmers were gender (P<0.030), age (P<0.007), distance to markets (P<0.057), easiness of accessing markets (P<0.007), challenges with accessing markets (P<0.042) and access to extension services (P<0.003). The study concluded that the smallholder farmers in the Mbombela Local Municipality have difficulties in accessing formal markets and rely on informal markets to sell their farm products. The study recommended that farmers should be trained on the use of social media channels in accessing agricultural markets. Government should support to improve infrastructures like roads to assist farmers in accessing market. The study concluded that transport costs should be managed through shared and collective transportation arrangement with other farmers to convey farm produce to the markets for sale.