Increased sm allholder com m ercialization
Before the arrival of the white settlers in 1890, Zimbabwe’s smallholder agri culture was based on a wide range of food crops for balanced household nutri tion and risk aversion. Some of the crops grown were finger millet, pearl mil let, sorghum, maize, groundnut, rice, sweet potato, cowpea, pumpkin and melon (Palmer, 1977). Apart from the introduction of a few cash crops, similar crop mixes continue to dominate smallholder farming systems (Rukuni, 1994). Ta ble 27.1 shows typical cropping patterns in the smallholder farming sector by natural region.217 According to this table, every farmer grows (or attempts to grow) maize, irrespective of natural region. The crop accounts for over 50 per cent of all cropped land. It is regarded as both a subsistence crop and, where surpluses occur, as a cash crop. Groundnut is the second most prevalent crop. On average, groundnut is grown by 72 per cent of the farm households al though it occupies only 8 per cent of the cropped area. In drought-prone areas such as Nyajena (natural region IV), more drought-tolerant food crops such as sorghum and pearl millet assume greater importance in the cropping system. On the other hand, purely cash crops such as cotton and sunflower cut across the natural regions while burley tobacco is largely confined to the better rain fall areas and heavier and more fertile soils.
data; whereas qualitative data were analyzed using narrations and interpretations. The OLS results indicated that farm size allocated to potato, access to irrigation and access to market information were found to be significant in affecting extent of market participation (degree of commercialization) at 1 % probability level. Hence, organizing farmers into groups in order to have better access to irrigation, providing market information through networking and institutions and improving extension service and availing improved varieties, overall, modernizing potato production are therefore crucial in enhancing the extent of market participation
Besides, LFs still experience deficits among farme rs in terms of: adoption of improved agronomic practices and environmental management, technology advancement, group organization and governance, understanding VC matters and applying a more long-term business perspective, risk taking behaviour, as well as trust, loyalty and honesty (e.g., honouring the payback-scheme for inputs in the BNP case). Due to their investment in the farmers’ capacity and the need to get the farmers’ output, LFs often favour a continuation- approach with the farmers; thus they find it hard at times to actually punish and (temporarily) exclude defaulting or disloyal farmers from the DVC. LFs responses moreover revealed the importance of farmers improving on the soft factors in VC business: communication, commitment, trust, responsiveness, and eagerness to improve. LFs appreciate farmers who can govern themselves. It was also noted that enha nced farmers’ awareness about commercial agriculture (after trainings) does not guarantee that they practice it successfully.
Similarly, coefficient of membership of any organization (MEORG) and contact with extension agents (EXCONT) were also negative and statistically significant in the sub- population of the upland rice farming households . However as contact with extension agents increases, the probability that a farmer would participate in the market de- creases. This could be due to the fact that the primary function of the extension agents in Nigeria is mainly limited to the dissemination of IRVs and training of farmers on the best-bet production technologies. Essentially, their contact with the farmers may be only to encourage adoption of IRVs and may not have anything to do with linking farmers to the markets or encouraging them to participate in output markets. The negative and significant coefficient of MEORG implies that farmers that belong to farmers ’ organizations participate less in rice output market. This finding is in agreement with the finding of Martey et al. (2012) in their study on commercialization of smallholderagriculture in Ghana, but contradicts the findings of Matungul et al. (2001), Olwanda and Mathenge (2012) and Musah et al. (2014).
Moreover, the Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan I (GTP I) (2010/11-2014/15) retained agricultural sector growth as the prime driver of economic growth. The sector’s strategy was further informed by the Agriculture Growth Program (AGP) and lessons drawn from implementation of the past development plans. The agricultural strategy directed on placing major effort to support the intensification of marketable farm products both for domestic and export markets, and by small and large farmers. Fundamentals of the strategy included the shift to produce high value crops, a special focus on high-potential areas, facilitating the commercialization of smallholderagriculture, and supporting the development of large-scale commercial agriculture where it was feasible. In order to ensure this transformation, ranges of public investments were set within the plan for continued scale-up of the successes registered in the past. Transparent and efficient agricultural marketing system were attempted to be strengthened. Investment in marketing infrastructure was also made to increase (FDRE, 2010). Similarly under current GTP II (2015/16 – 2019/2020) the same plan is made to mobilize all possible efforts to ensure adequate agricultural input supply and strengthen agricultural extension services, so as to boast productivity and then commercialization. Clearly, commercialization success cannot be attributed to any single factor, but a combination of several complementing factors.
This study is based on a panel survey interviewing 416 farmers practising conservation agriculture for at least five cropping seasons. Farmers obtained higher yields on conservation agriculture plots than on non- conservation agriculture ones. The mean maize yield on conservation agriculture was 1546 kg/ha compared to 970 kg/ha for non-conventional draft tillage plots across all 15 districts. However, the contribution of conservation agriculture to total household food security requirements was limited due to small plot sizes. Labor and land still remains a major challenge that limits the expansion of conservation agriculture area. Winter weeding remains a challenge, with 63% of farmers practicing it. Application of residues is still limited (56% of farmers practising it). Fertilizer application is largely dependent on access to free fertilizer. The survey results show that the 78 % of the respondent farmers were initially selected by the NGOs and were provided with inputs such as seed and fertilizer. The other 22% of the farmers in the sample were selected as spontaneous adopters, who did not initially receive any NGO support to implement conservation agriculture practices. Eleven percent of the interviewed farmers had stopped conservation agriculture practices by the 2008/09 cropping season due to withdrawal of input support by NGOs. Research should continue to explore different recommendations for different areas as farmers face dynamic agro-ecological and soil environments. Conservation agriculture should not be introduced as a blanket technology for all areas, but should be flexible and adaptable to local conditions. Key words: conservation agriculture, planting basins, yield gains, adoption labor, and fertilizer
Roles of Key Stakeholders under FASDEP II
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has the lead responsibility within the context of a coordinated Government Programme. The Mission of MoFA is to promote sustainable agriculture and thriving agribusiness through research and technology development, effective extension and other support services to farmers, processors and traders, for improved livelihood. In line with this mission, the lead ministry is to provide overall coordination of the implementation of the strategy. Under FASDEP, Private Sector and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are expected to participate in policy dialogue to ensure that their interests are reflected. They are also expected, where possible, to invest in productive activities in the sector and ensure that commercialisation is balanced with social responsibility and environmental sustainability. CSOs are also expected to provide training support and skills improvement of the sector’s manpower. Development Partners are expected to contribute financial and technical resources to support the achievement of sector objectives within the parameters of the prevailing policy framework. In addition, they are expected to engage constructively in on-going policy dialogue on all policies relevant to agriculture and related sectors. Other MDAs are expected to ensure that their policies and programmes are consistent with FASDEP II (Government of Ghana, 2007).
However, despite these recent initiatives, a mixture of economic constraints, cultural norms and practices continue to limit women’s contribution to household food security and, to a lesser extent, inhibit the commercialization of the sector. Gender roles and relationships influence the division of work, the use of resources, and the sharing of the benefits of production between women and men. In particular, the introduction of new technologies and practices, underpinned by improved service provision, often disregards the gendered-consequences of market-oriented growth and many benefits bypass women. Not only do these circumstances have implications for issues of equality but also may be detrimental to the long term sustainability of development initiatives. PASDEP also recognizes this opportunity and envisages ‘unleashing the potential of Ethiopia’s women’ as one of the eight strategic elements to be targeted during its implementation, setting targets to involve directly 30% of women farmers in male-headed households and 100% of women in female-headed households in rural development activities by 2010.
As was anticipated, the level of commercialisation of the farm household increases in response to growth in the value of farm equipment per adult equivalent. This relationship is well established in the literature (Leavy & Poulton, 2008; Pender & Alemu, 2007), with ownership of movable and fixed assets linked to higher levels of production and greater surpluses available for sale. Mmbando et al (2015) con- tend that policies to support smallholder asset accumulation would increase smallholder productivity and market partici- pation, while Barrett (2008) argues that barriers to market participation often depend on timely access to productive as- sets and technologies, which usually requires improved ac- cess to finance. Ownership of productive assets is highly dependent on household liquidity and access to a ff ordable term loans to finance their purchase. Addressing rural fi- nance constraints would boost household liquidity and pro- mote asset accumulation.
Using the example of the Concern Worldwide Livelihoods Programme, this study illustrates promising practice to achieve agricultural productivity gains for vulnerable smallholder farmers with the smallest parcels of land. Identified approaches to improve productivity of these farmers include an integrated package of interventions, which included production support as well as access to finance. The importance of one-to-one field demonstrations, a participatory cattle distribution scheme, and pre-cooperatives that provided financial and psychological and social support were also identified.
A higher profit through sheep sales could benefit farmers, especially those with a high share of income from sheep sales. In particular, the farms in cluster 3 generated a large share and absolute amount of their total revenue via sheep sales. The Brazilian agricultural ministry suggested that the production of sheep for Manta could increase farm profits. Under the current extensive to semi- intensive production conditions, the present study could not confirm this. The certification of Manta would involve changes and investments that bear price and commercialization risks for the farmers. The animals used for Manta preparation do not meet a specified standard, apart from the prefer- ences of each processor. Formulating uniform production standards and carcass characteristics is a prerequisite for successfully increasing sheep production for Manta, since the product may enter new markets with specific expectations. The standards have to be communicated explicitly and transparently in order to assign a unique product identity to Manta that is substantially different from a Manta without a label. This will be crucial for local consumers, who would have a choice between products with and without the label.
effective solution to this problem is to introduce pesticide reduction policies while at the same time encouraging farmers to change their farm practices; for example, by promoting integrated pest management activities through introducing ‘Farmer Field Schools’ or government considers establishing special schools in highland areas at which farmers can acquire farming knowledge. Policymakers, researchers and farmers need to work together in order to encourage the use of sustainable pest management activities. More detailed policy- oriented studies are needed to identify policy options to support farmers in their transition to market-oriented production. Policy makers should support scientists with their research, as well as support the dissemination of traditional pest management knowledge, promote locally available resources and adapt any pest management approaches to the more intensive production context. They should also promote soil health as a part of a conservation agriculture approach, support farmers in their use of good seeds – because a healthy plant can better resist pest attacks – and pass knowledge on to farmers regarding the negative impacts of chemical product use, as well as offer training at the local level on how to use pesticides wisely. Meanwhile, agricultural research should try to adjust traditional methods to the current conditions experienced by commercial farms, and so facilitate the re-adoption of such methods. Researchers should also introduce alternative crops suitable for the Thai highland climate. However, the challenges faced not only exist on the producers’ side. Consumer demand is also an indispensable factor in helping to achieve agricultural sustainability, and has a strong effect on the agricultural market. Consumers want the highest quality at the lowest costs, but for them to figure out what the best quality is tricky. The provision of information alone may not resolve this problem, as information can be ignored, misinterpreted or simply create confusion (Grunert, 2005). To understand the role of a consumer need to be clarified by further research. Therefore, to achieve sustainable agriculture is a complex challenge, requiring cooperation among all relevant sectors as well as a true understanding of the problems and limitations that exist. Most importantly, the level of social responsibility held by farmers, consumers, the pesticide industry and the government is an integral part of this development.
Purpose: Small-scale agriculture is an important issue for food security in Africa. In the context of Genetically Modified Organisms, approaches to quantify geneflow in small-scale systems are widely unexplored. We aimed at bridging this gap by contributing to the scientific discussion on the uncertainties of the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops in the region. The safety issue is: Would it be possible to withdraw a variety in case that unexpected and undesirable effects occur? e.g. the resistance of pests which make the variety no more useful. Methods: We used a GIS approach to determine the location of maize cultivation sites, field geometries and applied a model for the calculation of geneflow scenarios.
research and development in agriculture, rural infrastructure(including roads, electricity, and education) which target the rural poor, have all contributed directly to the reduction of rural poverty. They found that irrigation development, in addition to raising agricultural productivity, also encourages private investment. Empirical evidence from studies carried in Australia shows that a dollar worth of output generated in irrigated agriculture generates more than five dollars worth of value to the regional economy, which suggested irrigation development has a strong multiplier effect on other sectors of the economy (Ali and Pernia2003). Shah and Singh (2004) found in India that more irrigation means fewer people below the poverty line. Moreover, Zhaan (a), Zhang(b) (2000), in their study on the role of public investment on growth and poverty, noted that government expenditure on productivity enhancing investment which includes investment in irrigation, has played a significant role in poverty reduction and enhancing productivity in rural China. From the discussion above it is clear that irrigation has significant role in improving rural livelihoods, however it is often characterised by inefficient water use, high capital and recurrent cost, lack of sustainability and inequity in the distribution of land. The following conclusion can be drawn based on the findings and focusing on the objectives of the study that the higher the age, males educational, income and socio - economic status of the farmers the higher the household welfare. The availability of financial and human capital also contributes to a higher household welfare. The male-headed household has a significant relationship to the household welfare while the female and child headed household lower household welfare. Unavailability of natural and physical capital lowers the household welfare of farmers on the irrigation scheme.
riculture Growth Program (AGP) and lessons drawn from implementation of the past development plans. The agricultural strategy directed on placing major effort to support the intensification of marketable farm products both for domestic and export markets, and by small and large farmers. Fundamentals of the strategy included the shift to produce high value crops, a special focus on high-potential areas, facil- itating the commercialization of smallholder agricul- ture, and supporting the development of large-scale commercial agriculture where it was feasible. In order to ensure this transformation, ranges of public invest- ments were set within the plan for continued scale-up of the successes registered in the past. Transparent and efficient agricultural marketing system were at- tempted to be strengthened. Investment in market- ing infrastructure was also made to increase (FDRE, 2010). Similarly under current GTP II (2015/16 – 2019/2020) the same plan is made to mobilize all possible efforts to ensure adequate agricultural input supply and strengthen agricultural extension ser- vices, so as to boast productivity and then commer- cialization. This clearly indicates that agriculture con- tinue to be source of growth and poverty reduction. Under the new plan, commercialization of agriculture is given due emphasis in preparation of the path to manufacturing industry led economic growth during the following 5 years’ plan.
practices where the mould plough is the common tool used for land preparation (Colbach et al., 2000). The mouldboard plough facilitates turning of the soils burying weeds and their seeds leaving the farmers’ field weed free at the onset of the season. However, such weed management practices are ideal to farmers who have access to draft power that is necessary when using the mouldboard plough. Most of the resource limited smallholder farmers use hand hoes for land preparation, planting and weeding that is normally done three times per growing season (Siziba, 2008). However, hand hoe weeding is labour intensive (Mandumbu et al., 2011) and Asian Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development
Improving soybean yields on smallholder farms remains a challenge. Due to limited fertilizer access and the perceived ability of legumes to fix N, farmers usually reserve fertilizer application for maize crops and rarely fertilize legumes (Bezner Kerr et al., 2007; Mhango et al., 2013). Phosphorous is a critical nutrient in the BNF process, and is often the most limiting nutrient for legume production (Israel, 1987). Previous work in the Ekwendeni region of Malawi has shown that legume crops are typically grown on fields with P status below the critical level, and that many legume crops would likely benefit from P fertilizer (Mhango et al., 2013). Studies in other regions of Malawi have shown a positive response by maize and soybean grain to P and sulfur (S) application (Mhango et al., 2008). Other than N and P, little work has been done to determine possible limitations of essential nutrients such as K, Ca, Mg, and Fe tocrop growth in Malawi. For example, Fe in particular is essential to leghemoglobin production – an essential component of the rhizobia N fixation process (Ragland and Theil, 1993).
In the climate change literature, stability and resilience are often used interchangeably to describe fluctuations in final crop yields after an extreme weather event. A cropping system is stable/resilient if it is able to retain yield potential and recover functional integrity (produce food and feed) when challenged by environmental stresses (Di Falco and Chavas, 2008).There are several approach to increase climate change resilience in the farming system. Lin (2011) and Gaudin et al. (2015) suggest improvement of farming system resilience through increased crop diversification. Crop diversification can improve resilience by increasing the ability to suppress pests/diseases outbreak as well as stabilizing crop production from the effects of greater climate varia- bility and extreme events. However, under smallholderagriculture, diversification could be limited by econo- mies of size due to relatively limited land owned by these farmers. Another approach involves intensification of the agricultural system of agricultural. This approach seeks to get more output with less use of human capital and natural resources by making modifications in crop management practices and mobilizing production and productivity enhancing biological processes that are present and available within the farming system (Uphoff et al. 2006).
These results also indicate that smallholder landholding sizes are gradually declining in Kenya as in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Generally, these ﬁndings lead to policy questions about appropriate and feasible smallholder-led agricultural strategies in the context of land-constrained farming systems. One could conclude that the only way out of poverty for the severely land-constrained rural poor is to increase their access to land. Viewed from this perspective there is some scope for promoting equitable access to land through land redistribution reforms to reduce landholding inequalities. A coordinated strategy of public goods and services investments in road infrastructure, schools, health care facilities, electriﬁcation and water supply would be helpful in raising the economic value of arable land in the coun- try that is relatively remote and still unutilized. However, viewed within a dynamic structural transformation framework, this group’s brightest prospect for escape from poverty will most likely involve being pulled off the farm into productive non-farm sectors. Farming will be increasingly unable to sustain the liveli- hoods of people born in rural areas without substantial shifts in labor from agriculture to non-farm sectors. Education, which played a crucial role in Asia by allowing households to exit agriculture into more lucrative off-farm jobs, is relatively low in most areas of rural Africa by world standards. Investments in rural education and communications are likely to become increasingly important to facilitate structural transformation. However, there are no assurances that non-farm will grow fast enough to be able to absorb all the surplus rural labor. And in fact, our ﬁndings from Kenya indicate that off-farm incomes are not increasing signiﬁcantly with population density. An important long-run goal will be to pull the rural poor out of agri- culture and into skilled off-farm jobs through public investments and policies that support urban job creation and the processes of structural transformation. Increasing emphasis on education, health, and integration with the broader global economy are likely to be especially important in attracting private investment to Africa’s non-farm sectors and providing viable jobs to attract the region’s largely underemployed work force into productive non-farm jobs. A young, healthy, and relatively well-educated work force would certainly help promote this process.