Assessing the Competitiveness of Smallholders Chickpea Production in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia
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Chickpea is an important food legume in Ethiopia which provides sources of livelihood for millions of smallholder farmers. Currently, it has become an important high value crop that promotes commercialization. This study attempted to assess the competitiveness of smallholders’ chickpea production in the central highlands of Ethiopia. To this end, the domestic resource cost coefficient (DRC) analysis was employed using farm household surveys, price and trade data. Current evidences showed that there has been a significant upswing in the trends of local chickpea prices both in nominal and real terms since the last eight years. As a result, chickpea has become an important cash crop in high potential major chickpea growing areas where farmers dispose the largest proportion of their chickpea production (82%) for marketing purpose.One of the major challenges of Ethiopian chickpea export is related to the bulk of the chickpea trade (84%) being absorbed by the local markets. Moreover, the current Ethiopia’s export market share has remained at 4% while the largest proportion (94%) is destined to low value export markets. Despite all those limitations, Ethiopian chickpea exportis highly competitive in major export markets as evidenced by the DRC value which was found to be 0.20. Therefore, the competitiveness of Ethiopian chickpea in high value markets could be improved by focusing on quality, volume, and supply continuity.