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Linking Ethiopia's bean farmers to formal markets

8 Feb 2013 07:23
ADDIS ABABA: Over the years, small-scale farmers growing white pea beans in Ethiopia have sold their produce through the informal market, relying largely on middlemen who dictate prices and walk away with huge profits, often leaving the farmers in poverty.
The informal market is likely to continue to dominate in smallholder dried beans due to the highly dispersed and variable nature of production. (Photo: Jocelyne Sambira/IRIN)
"When smallholders sell their produce individually, they are easily shortchanged by middlemen who give them very little money for their products, and they can hardly provide for their families despite their hard work on the farms," Legesse Dadi, agricultural project manager for Catholic Relief Services in Ethiopia, told IRIN.

Some traders on the informal market are also more likely to tamper with weighing scales, which means farmers get even less money for their produce.

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