Factorial Analysis of Challenges Encountered By Smallholder Cotton Growers in Eswatini


Cotton is the second most important cash-crop in Eswatini, yet production continues to decline. This study identifies the challenges and solutions for ameliorated productivity. Data were collected through questionnaire-guided interviews from 308 growers and 5 key informants. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis and inferential statistics were applied for data analysis. The production-related challenges include drought, inflators of production cost, lack of credit, poor input and mechanical technology supply, ineffectual cooperativism and low-yielding varieties. Market-related challenges include low prices, monopsony, limited market channels and lack of value addition options. Gender, location, farm size and household size revealed significant effects on production-related challenges at p<0.01. Labour, location and age revealed significant effects on marketing-related challenges at p<0.01, and p<0.05, respectively. Identified solutions include subsidies, credit funding and high-yielding varieties under irrigated-farming. Establishment of stakeholder-inclusive regulatory organ is recommended to address the identified challenges. Further redress of cooperativism is recommended to promote cotton productivity. 

Keywords: Challenges, Eswatini, Exploratory Factor Analysis, Smallholder Farmers, cotton production, perceived solutions

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 8-25 (Download PDF)

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