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.
Analysis of Beef Cattle Production in Eswatini: A Gender-Based Comparative Description and Determinants (Published)
This study conducted a gender-based description analysis of beef cattle production and its determinants in Eswatini. Data were collected from 397 farmers through personal interviews and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics and multiple regression. The gender comparative assessment revealed a low average herd size for females (p<0.01). Males indicated superiority in numbers of cows and calves (p<0.01), heifers (p<0.05), steers (p<0.1) and crossbreeds (p<0.05). Significant differences were also observed regarding calving rate (p<0.05), capital and medicine (p<0.01) labor (p<0.05), credit and member association (p<0.1). Age, education and employment indicated significant differences at p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively. Females had lower off-take rate (p<0.05), which undercut market participation (p<0.01). Determinants of production, significant at p<0.01, include location, extension, capital, labor and market participation. Gender, experience and off-take rate revealed significance at p<0.05. Extension adjustments and redress of cooperativism are recommended for improved productivity, with more attention given to female farmers.