MODELING KEY DRIVERS OF AGRICULTURAL COMMERCIALIZATION USING THE ZERO-INFLATED BETA REGRESSION MODEL: A CASE OF ZHOMBE NORTH RURAL DISTRICT SMALLHOLDER FARMERS, ZIMBABWE
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Pamela Madududu, Willy-Marcel Ndayitwayeko, Emmanuel Mwakiwa, Jacqueline Mutambara, Vine Mutyasira
agriculture, commercialization, zero-inflated beta regression, smallholder
Given that agricultural commercialization is one of the strategies that are proven to raise farm incomes and improve the standards of living in the African farming populations, this paper aims to analyze the key drivers of agricultural commercialization in Zhombe North Rural District in Zimbabwe. The study used cross-sectional data for the 2017/2018 farming season that was collected from 165 smallholder farmer households using a questionnaire. The zero-inflated beta regression model was applied as it suits the nature of agricultural commercialization indicators that occur as proportions for the commercialized households and zeros for the non-commercialized households. Crop output market participation share (COMPS) was used as a proxy for agricultural commercialization. The study revealed that only 32% of the households that participated in the study had COMPS values greater than 40%, whilst 68% had COMPS values below 40% indicating very low levels of agricultural commercialization in the study area. Land size, fertilizer use, use of credit and certified seeds proportion had significant positive effects on agricultural commercialization whilst household head age, food cropping land size and off-farm employment had significant negative influence. The study recommends adoption of policies that promote availability and usage of improved inputs such as fertilizers, certified seeds and larger land allocation strategies to improve agricultural commercialization in the study area.