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Market Channels for Highland Bamboo Poles Originated from Hula District, Sidama Zone Southern Ethiopia

Teshale, Tirusew, Woldeamanuel, Teshale, Bekele, Tsegaye, Alemu, Asmamaw, Pretzsch, Jürgen
Small-scale forestry 2017 v.16 no.4 pp. 469-485
Arundinaria, Oxytenanthera abyssinica, bamboos, cooperatives, farmers, focus groups, household surveys, households, interviews, livelihood, market access, marketing channels, markets, prices, production technology, supply chain, value added, Ethiopia
Ethiopia is one of the countries well-endowed with bamboo (Arundinaria alpine, a highland bamboo, and Oxytenanthera abyssinica, a lowland bamboo species). As compared to its potential, however, the contribution of bamboo to producer livelihoods and the national economy is very low. This paper describes the bamboo production-consumption system in the Hula district of Sidama Zone, Southern Ethiopia. Data include primary and secondary sources. The primary data were collected from 160 farmers, 38 traders and 30 consumers using household surveys, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Data were then analyzed using a value chain analysis. In the district, all households produced bamboo and allocated on average of 1/6 of their total land holding to bamboo production. Bamboo poles, the primary products, were identified as differentiated products in the market based on length, diameter, circumference, and the intended use of the poles into four major types. In 2014, 26,825 poles of Type 1 bamboo were harvested followed by 25,269 poles of Type 2. The amount harvested from Type 3 and Type 4 bamboos were 17,661 and 20,090 poles, respectively. The value chain analysis revealed that the major actors in the production to consumption system of bamboo were farmers, brokers, wholesalers, craftsmen, house constructors and domestic users. The results indicated that each type has a distinct value chain, with differentiated pricing and use pattern. The major limiting factors identified included absence of value added production and poor market linkage. This study supports the need for further research and investment in value added production alternatives and improved market access. Policies that support farmers’ access to modern production systems, establishment of cooperatives and improved extension system will also likely to accelerate the efficiency and effectiveness of the value chain.