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Increasing the Income of Malt Barley Farmers in Ethiopia through More Effective Cooperative Management


Partner: Self-Help Africa, Ireland
Geographic area: Ethiopia
Sector: Agriculture
Intention: To be applied to practice within the current project cycle

"Side selling" is the practice of farmers ignoring contractual agreements for the sale of their product. This research project focused on this issue, and its main objectives were to:

  • Assess challenges and opportunities of marketing malt barley by farmer-members of Galema and Raya Kejewa cooperative unions and their respective primary cooperatives, emphasizing the extent and determinants of side selling
  • Identify investment options for building co-op capacity to best serve members
  • Identify possible mechanisms for building trust at all levels to encourage member loyalty to primary cooperatives and their unions and to the linked contract providers (AMF and breweries)

Approach and methodology
The study was conducted in Digelu Tijo, Limu Bilbilo and Kofele Districts of Arsi and West Arsi zones of the Oromia region. It focused on national malt barley value chains of Galema and Raya Kejewa cooperative unions and their respective member primary cooperatives. It used both primary and secondary data and emphasized participatory approaches in generating the required primary information, along with identification of:

  • Existing constraints and opportunities
  • Investment options for building capacity of the cooperatives to best serve members
  • Mechanisms for building trust at all levels that can be employed to encourage farmer-members’ loyalty to primary cooperatives and their union¬†

The study employed Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), along with Rapid Market Appraisal (RMA) techniques, using tools such as focused group discussions (FGD), key informants interviews (KII), document review, etc., to generate information from major sources needed for the analysis. Secondary data needed for characterizing farmers’ marketing behavior were collected from relevant market actors.

Major outcomes and recommendations

The research report is data rich and nuanced, and identified six major strategic areas where interventions could be made to minimize the issue of farmer side-selling. These are summarized in the table below. Read an overview of side-selling here.

For more information or to discuss partnership opportunities, please contact:
Judith Hermanson, Research Group director
Email: jhermanson@ocdc.coop