Search results for: farmers
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 144

Search results for: farmers

144 Entrepreneurial Promotion among Farmers: the Early Impacts

Authors: René Díaz-Pichardo, Cecilia Cantú-González, Patricia López-Hernández

Abstract:

The development of entrepreneurial competences of farmers has been pointed out as a necessary condition for the modernization of land in facing the phenomenon of globalization. However, the educational processes involved in such a development have been studied little, especially in emerging economies. This research aims to enlighten some of the critical issues behind the early stages of the transformation of farmers into entrepreneurs, through in depth interviews with farmers, entrepreneurial promoters and public officials participating in a public pilot project in Mexico. Although major impacts were expected only in the long run, important positive changes in the mind set of farmers and other participants were found in early stages of the intervention. Apparently, the farmers started a process of becoming more conscious about the importance of preserving the aquiferous resources, as well as more market and entrepreneurial oriented.

Keywords: entrepreneurial training, farmers, land development.

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143 Use of Cell Phone by Farmers and its Implication on Farmers- Production Capacity in Oyo State Nigeria

Authors: Bolarinwa, K. K., Oyeyinka, R. A.

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Relevant agricultural information disseminator (extension agent) ratio of 1:3500 farm families which become a menace to agricultural production capacity in developing countries necessitate this study. Out of 4 zones in the state, 24 extension agents in each zone, 4 extension agents using cell phones and 120 farmers using cell phone and 120 other farmers not using cell phone were purposively selected to give 240 farmers that participated in the research. Data were collected using interview guide and analysized using frequency, percentage and t-test.. Frequency of contact with agricultural information centers revealed that cell phone user farmers had greater means score of X 41.43 contact as against the low mean X19.32 contact recorded by farmers receiving agricultural information from extension agents not using cell phone and their production was statistically significant at P < 0.05. Usage of cell phone increase extension agent contact and increase farmers- production capacity.

Keywords: Cell phone, contact, extension agents and production.

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142 Informal Education and Developing Entrepreneurial Skills among Farmers in Malaysia

Authors: Golnaz Rezai, Zainalabidin Mohamed, Mad Nasir Shamsudin

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The Malaysian government is promoting entrepreneurship development skills amongst farmers through informal courses. These courses will concentrate on teaching managerial skills as inevitable means for small farms to succeed by making farmers more creative and innovative. Therefore it is important to assess the effect of informal agri-entrepreneurial training in developing entrepreneurship among the farmers in Malaysia. Seven hundred and ninety six farmers (796) farmers were interviewed via structured questionnaire to define their opinion on whether the current informal educational and training establishments are sufficient to teach and develop entrepreneurial skills. Factor analysis and logic regression analysis were used to determine the motivating factors and predict their impact on the development of entrepreneurial skills. The result from the factor analysis led us to investigate the association between these factors and farmers- opinions about the development of entrepreneurial skills and traits through participating in informal entrepreneurship training or education. The outcome has shown us that the importance of informal training to promote entrepreneurship among farmers is crucial. The training should be intensified to encourage farmers to not only focus on the modern technologies but also on the fundamental changes in their attitude towards agriculture as a business. DOA: KMO: Kaiser- Meyer- Olkin Test MOA: Ministry of Agriculture NMP: Ninth Malaysia Plan NAP: Third National Agricultural Policy (2000-2010)

Keywords: Entrepreneurial skills, farmers, informal education, Malaysia

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141 Cut Flower Production: A Source of Incremental Income for the Marginal Farmers of the State of West Bengal in India

Authors: Ruma Bhattacharyya

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The basic objective of this paper is to measure and compare the profitability of investments made by the small and marginal farmers of the state of West Bengal in floriculture shifting from the traditional cultivation of paddy. A comparison of IRR is made to establish the fact that cultivation of flowers yield higher returns farmers whose land size is so small that viability of paddy cultivation is raising a question mark. A detailed study of the price behavior of the flower crop has been carried out in which the factors leading to the volatility of the price and the dispersion of the range have also been discussed. Finally the incremental incomes of the farmers have been calculated with the help of imputed income from paddy cultivation and the reported income from the selected flowers. The study shows that the farmers stand gainers if they opt for flower cultivation.

Keywords: Bazar Samity, Floriculture, Marginal Farmers.

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140 Capacity Building of Extension Agents for Sustainable Dissemination of Agricultural Information and Technologies in Developing Countries

Authors: Michael T. Ajayi, Oluwakemi E. Fapojuwo

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Farmers are in need of regular and relevant information relating to new technologies. Production of extension materials has been found to be useful in facilitating the process. Extension materials help to provide information to reach large numbers of farmers quickly and economically. However, as good as extension materials are, previous materials produced are not used by farmers. The reasons for this include lack of involvement of farmers in the production of the extension materials, most of the extension materials are not relevant to the farmers’ environments, the agricultural extension agents lack capacity to prepare the materials, and many extension agents lack commitment. These problems led to this innovative capacity building of extension agents. This innovative approach involves five stages. The first stage is the diagnostic survey of farmers’ environment to collect useful information. The second stage is the development and production of draft extension materials. The third stage is the field testing and evaluation of draft materials by the same famers that were involved at the diagnostic stage. The fourth stage is the revision of the draft extension materials by incorporating suggestions from farmers. The fifth stage is the action plans. This process improves the capacity of agricultural extension agents in the preparation of extension materials and also promotes engagement of farmers and beneficiaries in the process. The process also makes farmers assume some level of ownership of the exercise and the extension materials.

Keywords: Capacity building, dissemination, extension agents, information/technologies.

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139 Pineapple Maturity Recognition Using RGB Extraction

Authors: J. I. Asnor, S. Rosnah, Z. W. H. Wan, H. A. B. Badrul

Abstract:

Pineapples can be classified using an index with seven levels of maturity based on the green and yellow color of the skin. As the pineapple ripens, the skin will change from pale green to a golden or yellowish color. The issues that occur in agriculture nowadays are to do with farmers being unable to distinguish between the indexes of pineapple maturity correctly and effectively. There are several reasons for why farmers cannot properly follow the guideline provide by Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (FAMA) and one of reason is that due to manual inspection done by experts, there are no specific and universal guidelines to be adopted by farmers due to the different points of view of the experts when sorting the pineapples based on their knowledge and experience. Therefore, an automatic system will help farmers to identify pineapple maturity effectively and will become a universal indicator to farmers.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Network, Image Processing, Index of Maturity, Pineapple

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138 Comparative Productivity Analysis of Median Scale Battery Cage and Deep Litter Housing Chicken Egg Production in Rivers State, Nigeria

Authors: D. I. Ekine, C. C. Akpanibah

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This paper analyses the productivity of median scale battery cage and deep litter chicken egg producers in Rivers State, Nigeria. 90 battery cage and 90 deep litter farmers giving a total of 180 farmers were sampled through a multistage sampling procedure. Mean productivity was higher for the battery cage than the deep litter farmers at 2.65 and 2.33 respectively. Productivity of battery cage farmers were positively influenced by age, extension contacts, experience and feed quantity while the productivity of deep litter farmers was positively influenced by age, extension contacts, household size, experience and labour. The major constraints identified by both categories are high cost of feed, high price of day-old chick, inadequate finance, lack of credit and high cost of drug/vaccination. Furthermore, the work recommends that government should assist chicken egg farmers through subsidies of input resources and put policies to make financial institutions give out loans at low interest rate to the farmers. The farmers should abide by the recommended number of birds per unit area while stocking.

Keywords: Productivity, battery cage, deep litter, median scale, egg production.

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137 Perception of Farmers and Agricultural Professionals on Changes in Productivity and Water Resources in Ethiopia

Authors: D. Mojo, Y. Todo, P. Matous

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In this paper, perceptions of actors on changes in crop productivity, quantity and quality of water, and determinants of their perception are analyzed using descriptive statistics and ordered logit model. Data collected from 297 Ethiopian farmers and 103 agricultural professionals from December 2009 to January 2010 are employed. Results show that the majority of the farmers and professionals recognized decline in water resources, reasoning climate changes and soil erosion as some of the causes. However, there is a variation in views on changes in productivity. The household asset, education level, age and geographical positions are found to affect farmers- perception on changes in crop productivity. But, the study underlines that there is no evidence that farmers- economic status, age, or education level affects recognition of degradation of water resources. Thus, more focus shall be given on providing them different coping mechanisms and alternative resource conserving technologies than educating about the problems.

Keywords: Agricultural Sustainability, Ethiopia, Perception, Productivity, Water Resources

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136 Religion and Sustainable Development: A Comparative Study of Buddhist and Christian Farmers’ Contribution to the Environmental Protection in Taiwan

Authors: Jijimon Alakkalam Joseph

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The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development claims to be a comprehensive and integrated plan of action for prosperity for people and the planet, including almost all dimensions of human existence. Nevertheless, the religious dimension of human existence has been kept away from development discussions. Care for the earth is one of the vital aspects of sustainable development. Farmers all over the world contribute much to environmental protection. Most farmers are religious believers and religious ideologies influence their agricultural practices. This nexus between faith and agriculture has forced policymakers to include religion in development discussions. This paper delves deeper into this religion and sustainable development connection. Buddhism and Christianity have contributed much to environmental protection in Taiwan. However, interviews conducted among 40 Taiwanese farmers (10 male and female farmers from Buddhism and Christianity) show that their faith experiences make them relate to the natural environment differently. Most of the Buddhist farmers interviewed admitted that they chose their religious adherence, while most of the Christian farmers inherited their faith. The in-depth analysis of the interview data collected underlines the close relationship between religion and sustainable development. More importantly, concerning their intention to care for the earth, farmers whose religious adherence is ‘chosen’ are self-motivated and more robust compared to those whose religious adherence is ‘inherited’.

Keywords: Buddhism, Christianity, environmental protection, sustainable development.

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135 Debt Reconstruction, Career Development and Famers Household Well-Being in Thailand

Authors: Yothin Sawangdee, Piyawat Katewongsa, Chutima Yousomboon, Kornkanok Pongpradit, Sakapas Saengchai, Phusit Khantikul

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Debts reconstruction under some of moratorium projects is one of important method that highly benefits to both the Banks and farmers. The method can reduce probabilities for nonprofits loan. This paper discuss about debts reconstruction and career development training for farmers in Thailand between 2011 and 2013. The research designed is mix-method between quantitative survey and qualitative survey. Sample size for quantitative method is 1003 cases. Data gathering procedure is between October and December 2013. Main results affirmed that debts reconstruction is needed. And there are numerous benefits from farmers’ career development training. Many of farmers who attend field school activities able to bring knowledge learned to apply for the farms’ work. They can reduce production costs. Framers’ quality of life and their household well-being also improve. This program should apply in any countries where farmers have highly debts and highly risks for not return the debts.

Keywords: Career development, debts reconstruction, farmers household well-being, Thailand.

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134 An Agri-food Supply Chain Model for Cultivating the Capabilities of Farmers Accessing Market Using Corporate Social Responsibility Program

Authors: W. Sutopo, M. Hisjam, Yuniaristanto

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In general, small-scale vegetables farmers experience problems in improving the safety and quality of vegetables supplied to high-class consumers in modern retailers. They also lack of information to access market. The farmers group and/or cooperative (FGC) should be able to assist its members by providing training in handling and packing vegetables and enhancing marketing capabilities to sell commodities to the modern retailers. This study proposes an agri-food supply chain (ASC) model that involves the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to cultivate the capabilities of farmers to access market. Multi period ASC model is formulated as Weighted Goal Programming (WGP) to analyze the impacts of CSR programs to empower the FGCs in managing the small-scale vegetables farmers. The results show that the proposed model can be used to determine the priority of programs in order to maximize the four goals to be achieved in the CSR programs.

Keywords: agri-food supply chain, corporate social responsibility, small-scale vegetables farmers, weighted goal programming.

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133 Conservation Agriculture Practice in Bangladesh: Farmers’ Socioeconomic Status and Soil Environment Perspective

Authors: Mohammad T. Uddin, Aurup R. Dhar

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The study was conducted to assess the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ socioeconomic condition and soil environmental quality in Bangladesh. A total of 450 (i.e., 50 focal, 150 proximal and 250 control) farmers from five districts were selected for this study. Descriptive statistics like sum, averages, percentages, etc. were calculated to evaluate the socioeconomic data. Using Enyedi’s crop productivity index, it was found that the crop productivity of focal, proximal and control farmers was increased by 0.9, 1.2 and 1.3 percent, respectively. The result of DID (Difference-in-difference) analysis indicated that the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ average annual income was significant. Multidimensional poverty index (MPI) indicates that poverty in terms of deprivation of health, education and living standards was decreased; and a remarkable improvement in farmers’ socioeconomic status was found after adopting conservation agriculture practice. Most of the focal and proximal farmers stated about increased soil environmental condition where majority of control farmers stated about constant environmental condition in this regard. The Probit model reveals that minimum tillage operation, permanent organic soil cover, and application of compost and vermicompost were found significant factors affecting soil environmental quality under conservation agriculture. Input support, motivation, training programmes and extension services are recommended to implement in order to raise the awareness and enrich the knowledge of the farmers on conservation agriculture practice.

Keywords: Conservation agriculture, crop productivity, socioeconomic status, soil environment quality.

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132 Beef Cattle Farmers Perception toward Urea Mineral Molasses Block

Authors: Veronica Sri Lestari, Djoni Prawira Rahardja, Tanrigiling Rasyid, Aslina Asnawi, Ikrar Muhammad Saleh, Ilham Rasyid

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Urea Mineral Molasses Block is very important for beef cattle, because it can increase beef production. The purpose of this research was to know beef cattle farmers’ perception towards Urea Mineral Molasses Block (UMMB). This research was conducted in Gowa Regency, South Sulawesi, Indonesia in 2016. The population of this research were all beef cattle farmers. Sample was chosen through purposive sampling. Data were collected through observation and face to face with deep interview using questionnaire. Variables of perception consisted of relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, observability and triability. There were 10 questions. The answer for each question was scored by 1, 2, 3 which refer to disagree, agree enough, strongly agree. The data were analyzed descriptively using frequency distribution. The research revealed that beef cattle farmers’ perception towards UMMB was categorized as strongly agree.

Keywords: Beef cattle, farmers, perception, urea mineral molasses block.

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131 A Web-Based Mobile System for Promoting Agribusiness in Northern Nigeria

Authors: I. M. Mungadi, M. S. Argungu, N. I. Mahmud

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This research aimed at developing a web-based mobile system and figuring out a better understanding of how could “web-based mobile system supports farmers in Kebbi State”. Thus, by finding out the answers to the research questions, a conceptual framework of the entire system was implemented using Unified Modelling Language (UML). The work involved a review of existing research on web-based mobile technology for farmers in some countries and other geographical areas within Nigeria. This research explored how farmers in Northern Nigeria, especially in Kebbi state, make use of the web-based mobile system for agribusiness. Also, the benefits of using web-based mobile systems and the challenges farmers face using such systems were examined. Considering the dynamic nature of theory of information and communication technology; this research employed survey and focus group discussion (FGD) methods. Stratified, random, purposive, and convenience sampling techniques were adopted to select the sample. A questionnaire and FGD guide were used to collect data. The survey finds that most of the Kebbi state farms use their alternative medium to get relevant information for their agribusiness. Also, the research reveals that using a web-based mobile system can benefit farmers significantly. Finally, the study has successfully developed and implemented the proposed system using mobile technology in addition to the framework design.

Keywords: Agribusiness, farmers, Kebbi State, mobile technology, Northern Nigeria, web-based.

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130 Assessing the Impact of Quinoa Cultivation Adopted to Produce a Secure Food Crop and Poverty Reduction by Farmers in Rural Pakistan

Authors: Ejaz Ashraf, Raheel Babar, Muhammad Yaseen, Hafiz Khurram Shurjeel, Nosheen Fatima

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Main purpose of this study was to assess adoption level of farmers for quinoa cultivation after they had been taught through training and visit extension approach. At this time of the 21st century, population structure, climate change, food requirements and eating habits of people are changing rapidly. In this scenario, farmers must play their key role in sustainable crop development and production through adoption of new crops that may also be helpful to overcome the issue of food insecurity as well as reducing poverty in rural areas. Its cultivation in Pakistan is at the early stages and there is a need to raise awareness among farmers to grow quinoa crops. In the middle of the 2015, a training and visit extension approach was used to raise awareness and convince farmers to grow quinoa in the area. During training and visit extension program, 80 farmers were randomly selected for the training of quinoa cultivation. Later on, these farmers trained 60 more farmers living into their neighborhood. After six months, a survey was conducted with all 140 farmers to assess the impact of the training and visit program on adoption level of respondents for the quinoa crop. The survey instrument was developed with the help of literature review and other experts of the crop. Validity and reliability of the instrument were checked before complete data collection. The data were analyzed by using SPSS. Multiple regression analysis was used for interpretation of the results from the survey, which indicated that factors like information/ training, change in agronomic and plant protection practices play a key role in the adoption of quinoa cultivation by respondents. In addition, the model explains more than 50% of variation in the adoption level of respondents. It is concluded that farmers need timely information for improved knowledge of agronomic and plant protection practices to adopt cultivation of the quinoa crop in the area.

Keywords: Farmers, quinoa, adoption, contact, training and visit.

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129 Productivity Effect of Urea Deep Placement Technology: An Empirical Analysis from Irrigation Rice Farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana

Authors: Shaibu Baanni Azumah, Ignatius Tindjina, Stella Obanyi, Tara N. Wood

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This study examined the effect of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology on the output of irrigated rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 142 rice farmers from the Golinga and Bontanga irrigation schemes, around Tamale. A treatment effect model was estimated at two stages; firstly, to determine the factors that influenced farmers’ decision to adopt the UDP technology and secondly, to determine the effect of the adoption of the UDP technology on the output of rice farmers. The significant variables that influenced rice farmers’ adoption of the UPD technology were sex of the farmer, land ownership, off-farm activity, extension service, farmer group participation and training. The results also revealed that farm size and the adoption of UDP technology significantly influenced the output of rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. In addition to the potential of the technology to improve yields, it also presents an employment opportunity for women and youth, who are engaged in the deep placement of Urea Super Granules (USG), as well as in the transplantation of rice. It is recommended that the government of Ghana work closely with the IFDC to embed the UDP technology in the national agricultural programmes and policies. The study also recommends an effective collaboration between the government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) to train agricultural extension agents on UDP technology in the rice producing areas of the country.

Keywords: Northern Ghana, output, irrigation rice farmers, treatment effect model, urea deep placement.

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128 Effect of Urea Deep Placement Technology Adoption on the Production Frontier: Evidence from Irrigation Rice Farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana

Authors: Shaibu Baanni Azumah, William Adzawla

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Rice is an important staple crop, with current demand higher than the domestic supply in Ghana. This has led to a high and unfavourable import bill. Therefore, recent policies and interventions in the agricultural sub-sector aim at promoting various improved agricultural technologies in order to improve domestic production and reduce the importation of rice. In this study, we examined the effect of the adoption of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology by rice farmers on the position of the production frontier. This involved 200 farmers selected through a multi stage sampling technique in the Northern region of Ghana. A Cobb-Douglas stochastic frontier model was fitted. The result showed that the adoption of UDP technology shifts the output frontier outward and also move the farmers closer to the frontier. Farmers were also operating under diminishing returns to scale which calls for redress. Other factors that significantly influenced rice production were farm size, labour, use of certified seeds and NPK fertilizer. Although there was an opportunity for improvement, the farmers were highly efficient (92%), compared to previous studies. Farmers’ efficiency was improved through increased education, household size, experience, access to credit, and lack of extension service provision by MoFA. The study recommends the revision of Ghana’s agricultural policy to include the UDP technology. Agricultural Extension officers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) should be trained on the UDP technology to support IFDC’s drive to improve adoption by rice farmers. Rice farmers are also encouraged to expand their farm lands, improve plant population, and also increase the usage of fertilizer to improve yields. Mechanisms through which credit can be made easily accessible and effectively utilised should be identified and promoted.

Keywords: Efficiency, rice farmers, stochastic frontier, UDP technology.

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127 Farmers’ Awareness and Behavior of Chemical Pesticide Uses in Suan Luang Sub-District Municipality, Ampawa, Samut Songkram, Thailand

Authors: Paiboon Jeamponk, Tikamporn Thipsaeng

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This paper is aimed to investigate farmers’ level of awareness and behavior of chemical pesticide uses, by using a case study of Suan Luang Sub- District Municipality, Ampawa, Samut Songkram Province. Questionnaire was employed in this study with the farmers from 46 households to explore their level of awareness in chemical pesticide uses, while interview and observation were adopted in exploring their behavior of chemical pesticide uses. The findings reflected the farmers’ high level of awareness in chemical pesticide uses in the hazardous effects of the chemical to human and environmental health, while their behavior of chemical pesticide uses explained their awareness paid to the right way of using pesticides, for instance reading the direction on the label, keeping children and animals away from the area of pesticide mixing, covering body with clothes and wearing hat and mask, no smoking, eating or drinking during pesticide spray or standing in windward direction.

Keywords: Awareness, Behavior, Pesticide.

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126 Analysis of Food Security Situation among Nigerian Rural Farmers

Authors: Victoria A. Okwoche, Benjamin C. Asogwa

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This paper analysed the food security situation among Nigerian rural farmers. Data collected on 202 rural farmers from Benue State were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The study revealed that majority of the respondents (60.83%) had medium dietary diversity. Furthermore, household daily calorie requirement for the food secure households was 10,723 and the household daily calorie consumption was 12,598, with a surplus index of 0.04. The food security index was 1.16. The Household daily per capita calorie consumption was 3,221.2. For the food insecure households, the household daily calorie requirement was 20,213 and the household daily calorie consumption was 17,393. The shortfall index was 0.14. The food security index was 0.88. The Household daily per capita calorie consumption was 2,432.8. The most commonly used coping strategies during food stress included intercropping (99.2%), reliance on less preferred food (98.1%), limiting portion size at meal times (85.8%) and crop diversification (70.8%).

Keywords: Analysis, food security, rural areas, farmers, Nigeria.

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125 Accounting for Rice Productivity Heterogeneity in Ghana: The Two-Step Stochastic Metafrontier Approach

Authors: Franklin Nantui Mabe, Samuel A. Donkoh, Seidu Al-Hassan

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Rice yields among agro-ecological zones are heterogeneous. Farmers, researchers and policy makers are making frantic efforts to bridge rice yield gaps between agro-ecological zones through the promotion of improved agricultural technologies (IATs). Farmers are also modifying these IATs and blending them with indigenous farming practices (IFPs) to form farmer innovation systems (FISs). Also, different metafrontier models have been used in estimating productivity performances and their drivers. This study used the two-step stochastic metafrontier model to estimate the productivity performances of rice farmers and their determining factors in GSZ, FSTZ and CSZ. The study used both primary and secondary data. Farmers in CSZ are the most technically efficient. Technical inefficiencies of farmers are negatively influenced by age, sex, household size, education years, extension visits, contract farming, access to improved seeds, access to irrigation, high rainfall amount, less lodging of rice, and well-coordinated and synergized adoption of technologies. Albeit farmers in CSZ are doing well in terms of rice yield, they still have the highest potential of increasing rice yield since they had the lowest TGR. It is recommended that government through the ministry of food and agriculture, development partners and individual private companies promote the adoption of IATs as well as educate farmers on how to coordinate and synergize the adoption of the whole package. Contract farming concept and agricultural extension intensification should be vigorously pursued to the latter.

Keywords: Efficiency, farmer innovation systems, improved agricultural technologies, two-step stochastic metafrontier approach.

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124 Decision Support System for Farm Management

Authors: Manpreet Singh, Parvinder Singh, Sumitter Bir Singh

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The emergence of information technology has resulted in an ever-increasing demand to use computers for the efficient management and dissemination of information. Keeping in view the strong need of farmers to collect important and updated information for interactive, flexible and quick decision-making, a model of Decision Support System for Farm Management is developed. The paper discusses the use of Internet technology for the farmers to take decisions. A model is developed for the farmers to access online interactive and flexible information for their farm management. The workflow of the model is presented highlighting the information transfer between different modules.

Keywords: Decision Support System, dissemination.

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123 The Existence of Field Corn Networks on the Thailand-Burma Border under the Patron-Client Contract Farming System

Authors: Kettawa Boonprakarn, Jedsarid Sangkaphan, Bejapornd Deekhuntod, Nuntharat Suriyo

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This study aimed to investigate the existence of field corn networks on the Thailand-Burma border under the patron-client contract farming system. The data of this qualitative study were collected through in-depth interviews with nine key informants.

The results of the study revealed that the existence of the field corn networks was associated with the relationship where farmers had to share their crops with protectors in the areas under the influence of the KNU (Karen National Union) and the DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) or Burmese soldiers. A Mae Liang, the person who starts a network has a connection with a Thaokae, Luk Rai Hua Chai or the head of a group of farmers, and farmers. They are under the patron-client system with trust and loyalty that enable the head of the group and the farmers in the Burma border side to remain under the same Mae Liang even though the business has been passed down to later generations.

Keywords: Existence, field-corn networks, patron-client system, contract farming.

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122 Political Economy of Integrated Soil Fertility Management in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Authors: Oluwatoyin D. Kolawole, Oarabile Mogobe, Lapologang Magole

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Although many factors play a significant role in agricultural production and productivity, the importance of soil fertility cannot be underestimated. The extent to which small farmers are able to manage the fertility of their farmlands is crucial in agricultural development particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).  This paper assesses the nutrient status of selected farmers’ fields in relation to how government policy addresses the allocation of and access to agricultural inputs (e.g. chemical fertilizers) in a unique social-ecological environment of the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. It also analyses small farmers and soil scientists’ perceptions about the political economy of integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) in the area. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to elicit quantitative and qualitative information from 228 farmers and 9 soil researchers through the use of interview schedules and questionnaires, respectively. Knowledge validation workshops and focus group discussions (FGDs) were also used to collect qualitative data from farmers. Thirty-three composite soil samples were collected from 30 farmers’ plots in three farming communities of Makalamabedi, Nokaneng and Mohembo for laboratory analysis. While meeting points exist, farmers and scientists have divergent perspectives on soil fertility management. Laboratory analysis carried out shows that most soils in the wetland and the adjoining dry-land/upland surroundings are low in essential nutrients as well as in cation exchange capacity (CEC). Although results suggest the identification and use of appropriate inorganic fertilizers, the low CEC is an indication that holistic cultural practices, which are beyond mere chemical fertilizations, are critical and more desirable for improved soil health and sustainable livelihoods in the area. Farmers’ age (t= -0.728; p≤0.10); their perceptions about the political economy (t = -0.485; p≤0.01) of ISFM; and their preference for the use of local knowledge in soil fertility management (t = -10.254; p≤0.01) had a significant relationship with how they perceived their involvement in the implementation of ISFM.

Keywords: Access, Botswana, ecology, inputs, Okavango Delta, policy, scientists, small farmers, soil fertility.

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121 Matching Farmer Competence and Farm Resources with the Transformation of Agri-Food Marketing Systems

Authors: Bhawat Chiamjinnawat

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The agri-food market transformation has implied market growth for the fruit industry in Thailand. This article focuses on analysis of farmer competence and farm resources which affect market strategies used by fruit farmers in Chanthaburi province of Thailand. The survey data were collected through the use of face-to-face interviews with structured questionnaires. This study identified 14 drivers related to farmer competence and farm resources of which some had significant effect on the decision to use either high-value markets or traditional markets. The results suggest that farmers who used high-value markets were better educated and they had longer experience and larger sized business. Identifying the important factors that match with the market transformation provides policy with opportunities to support the fruit farmers to increase their market power. Policies that promote business expansion of agricultural cooperatives and knowledge sharing among farmers are recommended to reduce limitations due to limited knowledge, low experience, and small business sizes.

Keywords: Farmer competence, farm resources, fruit industry, high-value markets, Thailand.

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120 Farmers’ Perception, Willingness and Capacity in Utilization of Household Sewage Sludge as Organic Resources for Peri-Urban Agriculture around Jos Nigeria

Authors: C. C. Alamanjo, A. O. Adepoju, H. Martin, R. N. Baines

Abstract:

Peri-urban agriculture in Jos Nigeria serves as a major means of livelihood for both urban and peri-urban poor, and constitutes huge commercial inclination with a target market that has spanned beyond Plateau State. Yet, the sustainability of this sector is threatened by intensive application of urban refuse ash contaminated with heavy metals, as a result of the highly heterogeneous materials used in ash production. Hence, this research aimed to understand the current fertilizer employed by farmers, their perception and acceptability in utilization of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes and their capacity in mitigating risks associated with such practice. Mixed methods approach was adopted, and data collection tools used include survey questionnaire, focus group discussion with farmers, participants and field observation. The study identified that farmers maintain a complex mixture of organic and chemical fertilizers, with mixture composition that is dependent on fertilizer availability and affordability. Also, farmers have decreased the rate of utilization of urban refuse ash due to labor and increased logistic cost and are keen to utilize household sewage sludge for soil fertility improvement but are mainly constrained by accessibility of this waste product. Nevertheless, farmers near to sewage disposal points have commenced utilization of household sewage sludge for improving soil fertility. Farmers were knowledgeable on composting but find their strategic method of dewatering and sun drying more convenient. Irrigation farmers were not enthusiastic for treatment, as they desired both water and sludge. Secondly, household sewage sludge observed in the field is heterogeneous due to nearness between its disposal point and that of urban refuse, which raises concern for possible cross-contamination of pollutants and also portrays lack of extension guidance as regards to treatment and management of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes. Hence, farmers concerns need to be addressed, particularly in providing extension advice and establishment of decentralized household sewage sludge collection centers, for continuous availability of liquid and concentrated sludge. Urgent need is also required for the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase commitment towards empowering her subsidiaries for efficient discharge of corporate responsibilities.

Keywords: Ash, farmers, household, peri-urban, refuse, sewage, sludge, urban.

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119 Implication to Environmental Education of Indigenous Knowledge and the Ecosystem of Upland Farmers in Aklan, Philippines

Authors: Emily Arangote

Abstract:

This paper defined the association between the indigenous knowledge, cultural practices and the ecosystem its implication to the environmental education to the farmers. Farmers recognize the need for sustainability of the ecosystem they inhabit. The cultural practices of farmers on use of indigenous pest control, use of insect-repellant plants, soil management practices that suppress diseases and harmful pests and conserve soil moisture are deemed to be ecologically-friendly. Indigenous plant materials that were more drought- and pest-resistant were grown. Crop rotation was implemented with various crop seeds to increase their disease resistance. Multi-cropping, planting of perennial crops, categorization of soil and planting of appropriate crops, planting of appropriate and leguminous crops, alloting land as watershed, and preserving traditional palay seed varieties were found to be beneficial in preserving the environment. The study also found that indigenous knowledge about crops are still relevant and useful to the current generation. This ensured the sustainability of our environment and incumbent on policy makers and educators to support and preserve for generations yet to come.

Keywords: Cultural practices, ecosystem, environmental education, indigenous knowledge.

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118 Soybean Based Farming System Assessment in Pasuruan East Java Indonesia

Authors: Mohammad Saeri, Noor Rizkiyah, Kambang Vetrani Asie, Titin Apung Atikah

Abstract:

The study aims to assess efficient specific-location soybean farming technology assembly by assisting the farmers in applying the suggested technology. Superimposed trial was conducted to know NPK fertilizer effect toward soybean growth and yield and soybean improved variety test for the dissemination of improved variety. The assessment was conducted at the farmers group of Sumber Rejeki, Kepulungan Village, Gempol Sub-district, Pasuruan Regency as the soybean central at Pasuruan area. The number of farmers involved in the study was 38 people with 25 ha soybean area. This study was held from July to October 2012.  The recommended technology package agreed at the socialization time and used in this research were: using Argomulyo variety seeds of 40 kg/ha, planting by drilling, planting by distance of 40x10 cm, deciding the seeds amount of 2-3 seeds per hole, and giving fertilization based on recommendation of East Java AIAT of 50 kg Urea, 100 kg SP-36 and 50 kg KCl.  Farmers around the research location were used as control group. Assessment on soybean farming system was considered effective because it could increase the production up to 38%. The farming analysis showed that the result collaborator farmers gained were positively higher than non-collaborator farmers with RC ratio of 2.03 and 1.54, respectively. Argomulyo variety has the prospect to be developed due to the high yield of about 2 tons/ha and the larger seeds. The NPK fertilization test at the soybean plants showed that the fertilization had minor effect on the yield.

Keywords: Farming system, soybean, variety, location specific farming.

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117 Economic Efficiency of Cassava Production in Nimba County, Liberia: An Output-Oriented Approach

Authors: Kollie B. Dogba, Willis Oluoch-Kosura, Chepchumba Chumo

Abstract:

In Liberia, many of the agricultural households cultivate cassava for either sustenance purposes, or to generate farm income. Many of the concentrated cassava farmers reside in Nimba, a north-eastern County that borders two other economies: the Republics of Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea. With a high demand for cassava output and products in emerging Asian markets coupled with an objective of the Liberia agriculture policies to increase the competitiveness of valued agriculture crops; there is a need to examine the level of resource-use efficiency for many agriculture crops. However, there is a scarcity of information on the efficiency of many agriculture crops, including cassava. Hence the study applying an output-oriented method seeks to assess the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba County, Liberia. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to generate a sample for the study. From 216 cassava farmers, data related to on-farm attributes, socio-economic and institutional factors were collected. The stochastic frontier models, using the Translog functional forms, of production and revenue, were used to determine the level of revenue efficiency and its determinants. The result showed that most of the cassava farmers are male (60%). Many of the farmers are either married, engaged or living together with a spouse (83%), with a mean household size of nine persons. Farmland is prevalently obtained by inheritance (95%), average farm size is 1.34 hectares, and most cassava farmers did not access agriculture credits (76%) and extension services (91%). The mean cassava output per hectare is 1,506.02 kg, which estimates average revenue of L$23,551.16 (Liberian dollars). Empirical results showed that the revenue efficiency of cassava farmers varies from 0.1% to 73.5%; with the mean revenue efficiency of 12.9%. This indicates that on average, there is a vast potential of 87.1% to increase the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba by improving technical and allocative efficiencies. For the significant determinants of revenue efficiency, age and group membership had negative effects on revenue efficiency of cassava production; while farming experience, access to extension, formal education, and average wage rate have positive effects. The study recommends the setting-up and incentivizing of farmer field schools for cassava farmers to primarily share their farming experiences with others and to learn robust cultivation techniques of sustainable agriculture. Also, farm managers and farmers should consider a fix wage rate in labor contracts for all stages of cassava farming.

Keywords: Economic efficiency, frontier production, and revenue functions, Liberia, Nimba County, output-oriented, revenue efficiency.

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116 Evaluating the Effect of Farmers’ Training on Rice Production in Sierra Leone: A Case Study of Rice Cultivation in Lowland Ecology

Authors: Alhaji M. H. Conteh, Xiangbin Yan, M. E. S. Mvodo

Abstract:

This study endeavors to evaluate the effects of farmers’ training program on the adoption of improved farming practices, the output of rice farming, and the income as well as the profit from rice farming by employing an ex-post non-experimental data in Sierra Leone. It was established that participating in farmers’ training program increased the possibility of adoption of the improved farming activities that were implemented in the study area. Through the training program also, the proceeds from rice production was also established to have increased considerably. These results were in line with the assumption that one of the main constraints on the growth in agricultural output particularly rice cultivation in most African states is the lack of efficient extension programs.

Keywords: Dissemination of information, improved farming practices, rice ecologies, Sierra Leone.

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115 Algerian Irrigation in Transition; Effects on Irrigation Profitability in Irrigation Schemes: The Case of the East Mitidja Scheme

Authors: K. Laoubi, M. Yamao

Abstract:

In Algeria, liberalization reforms undertaken since the 1990s have resulted in negative effects on the development and management of irrigation schemes, as well as on the conditions of farmers. Reforms have been undertaken to improve the performance of irrigation schemes, such as the national plan of agricultural development (PNDA) in 2000 and the water pricing policy of 2005. However, after implementation of these policies, questions have arisen with regard to irrigation performance and its suitability for agricultural development. Hence, the aim of this paper is to provide insight into the profitability of irrigation during the transition period under current irrigation agricultural policies in Algeria. By using the method of farm crop budget analysis in the East Mitidja irrigation scheme, the returns from using surface water resources based on farm typology were found to vary among crops and farmers- groups within the scheme. Irrigation under the current situation is profitable for all farmers, including both those who benefit from subsidies and those who do not. However, the returns to water were found to be very sensitive to crop price fluctuations, particularly for non-subsidized groups and less so for those whose farming is based on orchards. Moreover, the socio-economic environment of the farmers contributed to less significant impacts of the PNDA policy. In fact, the limiting factor is not only the water, but also the lack of land ownership title. Market access constraints led to less agricultural investment and therefore to low intensification and low water productivity. It is financially feasible to recover the annual O&M costs in the irrigation scheme. By comparing the irrigation water price, returns to water, and O&M costs of water delivery, it is clear that irrigation can be profitable in the future. However, water productivity must be improved by enhancing farmers- income through farming investment, improving assets access, and the allocation of activities and crops which bring high returns to water; this could allow the farmers to pay more for water and allow cost recovery for water systems.

Keywords: Irrigation schemes, agricultural irrigation policy, farm crop budget analysis, water productivity, Algeria.

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