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This paper studies and provide a comprehensive and critical research by analyzing and evaluating the beef marketing channels, determine marketing efficiency, examine key social and economic factors contributing to the success and failure and establish the regional market interactions across the three agro-ecological regions in Zambia.
To achieve this, the research used both primary and secondary qualitative and quantitative data from national representative surveys by Rural Agricultural Livelihood Surveys Reports which were implemented by Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute, and the 2017/18 Livestock and Aquaculture Census Report by Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Central Statistics Office, and other relevant literature related to this study. A questionnaire was used in primary data collection through snowball sampling technique, physically asking, and observing cattle farmers, abattoirs, wholesalers, processing companies and various players or actors in the beef market. Thereafter, intermediation theory was applied to develop a conceptual framework, transaction cost analysis was used to understand how and why different supply channels develop, and finally market performance was determined by analyzing the level of marketing margins.
It was found that there are two major channels (Channel A and Channel B used by small-scale and commercial scale farmers respectively) which have channel subdivisions and several social and economic factors influence the farmers choice of marketing channel as well as influence consumer choices. Channel A was dominated by intermediaries while channel B be was vertically integrated. It was determined that all beef channels in Zambia were efficient and three major consumer types were observed and the regional market interactions showed that region I supplies both II and III, region II supplies III while region III is more of a consumer region.
This study will help to fully understand cattle producers marketing channel selection, consumer choice of market and product quality, regional market interactions and develops recommendations making available valuable information to farmers, beef traders, companies, and policy makers thereby has the potential to improving beef trade and markets in Zambia.
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