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Abstract

Policies for commercial transformation of smallholder agriculture are often aimed at promoting household market participation. The literature on agricultural transformation also makes little distinction between market orientation and market participation. This paper analyzes the determinants of market orientation and market participation in Ethiopia separately and examines if market orientation translates into market participation. Results show that subsistence requirements, market access, and production factors affect market orientation, while market access and volume of production affect market participation. Results also show that market orientation translates strongly into market participation. The key implication of this study is that policy interventions aimed at promoting commercial transformation of subsistence agriculture should follow two-pronged approach: improving market orientation of smallholders at production level, and facilitation of market entry and participation of households in output markets. Focusing on either may not be as effective in achieving the transformation.

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