|dc.description.abstract||This research involves an institutional analysis of smallholder beef markets in the Malaita Province of the Solomon Islands, with the aim of making recommendations for strategies that improve small producer access to formal markets and for strategies that will help gain higher returns. Specific research objectives are to identify the beef market segments available to smallholder farmers; to explore organisational and institutional arrangements serving the different market segments; to identify the factors that determine farmers’ choice of market; and to identify strategies that will improve farmer participation in formal markets.
The supply chain framework is a guide in determining the linkages along the beef supply chains and markets. The institutional framework is used to identify smallholder cattle constraints. Using a case study approach, and a structured and semi-structured questionnaire, qualitative data from 20 farmers was collected in the Central Region (Central Kwara’ae, West Kwara’ae and West Kwaio Constituencies) of the Malaita Province. In addition, information was gathered from 13 informants: government departments (DAL, Department of Lands, and Department of Commerce); abattoir & butcher shops; private veterinary services; banks; and a beef importer.
Descriptive statistics were employed for categorising and representing the data. Study results show that farmers have basic education and no training with cattle, and have small farms and small herd size, and thus have limited production and market supply capability. Market segments with variable prices include abattoirs, abattoirs and private sales, processes at the farm, and cattle buyers. It has been noted that the deciding factor for the choice-of-market is the price. Lack of organisational and institutional support means that farmers have been acting individually as no support has been available in terms of credit, inputs, information, cattle training, or market and transport infrastructure. Thus, these items are part of the constraining factors that farmers face. In addition are limiting factors that directly impact on production and then subsequently have effects on marketing: poor management, slow uptake of integrated farming practices, land tenure, social and cultural issues, and a shift of farmers’ interest from cattle.
Recommendations for enhancing smallholder cattle farmers to improve production and market access include: the encouragement of contract farming amongst farmers that will improve production and market supply; the improvement of extension services and interaction between various sections of DAL (Extension, Livestock, and Research) and farmers; and the improvement of the physical infrastructure.||en