Sericulture value chain analysis in Gamo Zone, Southern Ethiopia
Silk is a premium priced agricultural commodity. Both Eri and Mulberry silkworms has been reintroduced into the country twenty years ago. Still method of rearing, handling, and harvesting of the cocoons is at an infant stage while the quality of cocoons produced in Ethiopia is in the range of commercial silk produced in major silk producing countries. Value chain analysis may contribute to an increase in marketable surplus by scaling-down the losses arising due to inefficient production, processing, storage, and transportation. Therefore, the objective of this study was to analyze sericulture value chain, production and financial performance in Arba Minch Zuria and Mirab Abaya Woredas of Gamo zone. Three sericulture producer groups were addressed namely; rural sericulture producer youth enterprises; smallholder sericulture producer women and sericulture private limited company. Both primary and secondary data were collected and used to achieve the designed objectives. Undiscounted benefit cost ratio analysis were undertaken to conduct profitability analysis and Cobb-Douglas production function was employed to analyze productivity contribution of production factors used for cocoon production. Value chain analysis result shows that sericulture producer rural enterprises, smallholder women and Bere sericulture private limited company were main chain actors of the study area. Undiscounted BCR analysis result depicted that sericulture business operation in study area was profitable. Among seven variables considered in Cobb-Douglas production function model five variables namely; sericulture production experience, frequency of sericulture production training, number of polythene bags used for bedding silkworm feeding, human labor used and amount of credit used were found to be significant at 1%, 5% and 10% level, respectively. High silkworm egg mortality and absence of competitive market were reported as constraints of sericulture production and marketing, whereas government and Non-governmental organizations’ support were considered as opportunity by sericulture producer enterprises. Building marketing information delivery system and value chain upgrading were recommended for improvement of sericulture value chain of Gamo zone.
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