The paper aims to determine patterns used by emerging farmers to participate in the market economy. The eight components of participation (six crop sales, livestock sales and off-farm earnings) were subjected to factor analysis. The results indicate that there are five sources of market participation; viz. sales of staples, cash crops, snacks, livestock and off-farm earnings. That is, participation in the market through one of the sources may or may not be preconditioned by another source. Implications for food security are that commercialisation of both maize and beans should be promoted to ensure starch and protein intake respectively, while cotton and vegetables will provide income and employment, livestock as a food risk management base, and off-farm income as a livelihood enhancing mechanism.