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Information sharing and its integrative role: An empirical study of the malt barley value chain in Ethiopia

Mulugeta D. Watabaji (Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium) (Haramaya University, Ethiopia)
Adrienn Molnar (Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium) (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Economics, Research Centre for Economics and Regional Studies, Budapest, Hungary)
Robert D. Weaver (Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, USA)
Manoj K. Dora (Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium) (Brunel University, London, UK)
Xavier Gellynck (Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 5 December 2016



The purpose of this paper is to describe the volume and quality of information and communication channel use at various stages of the malt barley value chain (MBVC) in Ethiopia and to investigate how metrics of these variables influence the extent of integration of the chain.


The study is based on survey data collected from 320 farmers and 100 traders and interview responses compiled from 76 respondents. Descriptive statistics and ordered logistic regression were used for data analysis.


The descriptive statistics show a lower volume and poor quality of information is being shared at farmer-trader interface and that value chain integration (VCI) is weak at all studied interfaces. Results of ordered logistic regression show that information volume and quality positively influence VCI, whereas a positive relationship between channel use and VCI was found only at farm level interfaces. Evidences found suggested that inconsistent information systems, lack of information sharing plans, low level of members’ awareness about the value of information, and lack of trust to share information were factors that inhibited information sharing in the MBVC.


The study offers pioneering evidence of the relative role of information volume and quality and channel use as factors that influence the extent of integration of the value chain.



The study was funded by the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic) through the NICHE-ETH-019 project, a consortium project of four Ethiopian universities in collaboration with partner universities in the Netherlands and Belgium, to support the commercialization Ethiopia agriculture. Moreover, the second author acknowledges the financial support of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA, PD 116226), supply chain and network performance and relationships in the agribusiness sector.


Watabaji, M.D., Molnar, A., Weaver, R.D., Dora, M.K. and Gellynck, X. (2016), "Information sharing and its integrative role: An empirical study of the malt barley value chain in Ethiopia", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 12, pp. 3012-3029.



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