Determinants of output prices formation in local sheep markets - the case of Amathole and Joe Xabi (Ukhahlamba), Eastern Cape
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This study identifies the determinants of sheep prices for small-scale sheep farming households in two districts of the Eastern Cape, namely Amathole and Ukhahlamba (Joe Xabe). Output prices that small farm households receive for their sheep affect their incomes from agriculture (knowing that revenue is a product of quantity and price), which, in turn, influence their living standards. The study isolates three sets of determinants of price formation in local agricultural markets - structural drivers, institutional factors and livelihood shocks - to account for the variations in prices that smallholder farmers receive. Data were collected from 134 households that were selected using purpose sampling and preceded by key informant and focus groups interviews with actors along the sheep value chain. A questionnaire consisting of both open-ended and quantitative questions was used. The relationship between output price formation and clusters of determinants is a typical hedonic pricing framework, which is fitted using a backward stepwise econometric technique that is a widely used experimental tool to identify significant determinants.