Unpacking the Drivers of Market Orientation: Evidence from Smallholder Rice Farming Households in Southeast Nigeria



Smallholders, rice, Market orientation, Heckman’s Model


Background: A fundamental departure from subsistence to commercial agriculture is crucial for ensuring lasting household-level food security and poverty reduction. The absence of farm-level analysis of the market orientation decisions constitutes a bottleneck to commercialising smallholder rice farmers.

Objectives: The study evaluated the determinants of smallholder rice farmers’ market orientation and the extent of market orientation among smallholder rice farming households.

Methodology: The study adopted a survey design. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 288 smallholder rice farmers. Primary data was collected from the respondents using a semi-structured questionnaire. The market orientation index and Heckman's two-stage model were used to realise the objectives.                  

 Results: A moderate market orientation index of 0.52 was established among the small-scale rice farmers. In addition, the results of the determinants of market orientation showed that the socioeconomic and institutional drivers of market orientation were education, distance to an established market, size of the rice farm, agricultural extension service, and land fragmentation. The extent of market orientation was driven by education, labour, fertiliser access, distance to the asphalt road, size of the rice farm, and market information.                                                           Conclusion: Small-scale rice farmers in Southeast Nigeria are moderately market-oriented, and the educational status of the household head principally drives the decision to be market-oriented and the extent of orientation.

Unique Contribution: The study identified the key factors that drive or inhibit smallholder rice farmers’ market orientation in Southeast Nigeria. This will help government agencies and policymakers to enact precise policies that will effectively drive smallholder commercialisation.

Key Recommendation: Agricultural extension services should be strengthened to include market-oriented training and information dissemination to provide farmers with timely information on market dynamics and opportunities.


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How to Cite

Ukwuaba , I. C. U., Arene , C. J., Okpukpara , C. B., Omeje , E. E., Onyekwe, C. N., Okpukpara, V., … Offorma , T. J. (2024). Unpacking the Drivers of Market Orientation: Evidence from Smallholder Rice Farming Households in Southeast Nigeria. Ianna Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies , 6(1), 16–32. Retrieved from https://iannajournalofinterdisciplinarystudies.com/index.php/1/article/view/174

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