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.
Exploring the Effectiveness of Agricultural Technologies Training among Smallholder Farmers in Sub-Saharan African Communities (Published)
Knowledge and capacity development on improved farm technologies and techniques are essential for agricultural growth. Despite the extension effort to facilitate adoption and diffusion of innovation through farmers visit and training expected transformation in food production process is yet to be achieved hence, there is the need to evaluate the effectiveness of farmers’ engagement in technologies development. This study was carried out to ascertain the effectiveness of agricultural technologies training among smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan African communities. Multistage sampling techniques were used to select 200 smallholder farmers. The respondents consist of the lead and trainee farmers in the spread of knowledge and support the technology adoption which is the distinctive aspect of the study. Data were collected using focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and structured questionnaires. The collected data were analysed using deceptive statistics, likert type scales and spearman correlation. The results of the study revealed that agricultural technologies training were very effective among the smallholder farmers. A great proportion (70.5%) of the farmers indicated that the training was very effective. There was a rapid increase (85%) in the level of adoption of agricultural technologies after the participatory training among the respondents compared to pre-training (49.5%). The findings also revealed that 13 Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) technologies were fully adopted by the majority of the smallholder farmers. In addition, our results also showed that there was a strong positive correlation (r = 0.001**, p<0.05) between agricultural technologies training sessions and adoption of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). The results reported that the use of participatory agricultural technologies training and trust in the lead farmers influenced farmers’ decisions to adopt and implement the recommended good agricultural practices technologies. The study recommends a policy agenda of Government that will favor improvement of agricultural extension and training for rural development to promote agricultural productivity, improving standard of living of smallholder farmers and national food security
Impact of Information and Communication Technologies (Icts) On Agricultural Productivity among Smallholder Farmers: Evidence from Sub-Saharan African Communities (Published)
The study was carried out to assess the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) among smallholder farmers in Northern Nigeria during October 2015 and September 2016 cropping season. Data were collected with structured questionnaires distributed to 200 smallholder farmers. The study used a multiple stage random sampling procedure to select farming household. Likert type scales were used to analyze the data. The main aim of the study was to find out the impact of ICTs on the agricultural productivity and welfare of the respondents. The t-test result revealed that ICT Services Short Message (SMS text reminders) had positive and significant impact (P<0.001**) on the agricultural productivity of smallholder farmers. The findings showed that 52% of the respondents experienced rapid increases in their crops productivity; and improved standard of living of the farmer as a result of the ICT Services Short Message (SMS text reminders). In addition, a large proportion (92%) of the respondents revealed that ICT Services Short Message (SMS text reminders) are beneficial to them. The results also revealed that radio, mobile phone and television among others were the most available ICT devices to the smallholder farmers in the area. However, the results obtained showed that radio and mobile phone were the most readily available ICT device with 97% and 85.8% respectively. The study however recommended that the Federal Government should create an enabling environment towards improved rural infrastructure and access to internet and other mobile communication technologies for rural people which would improve the overall use of ICT facilities. In addition, the Nigerian Government should establish ICT training centers in all the rural areas and educate farmers on the benefits of ICTs. Lastly, the study also suggested that there is a need for the development of ICT skills among agricultural extension workers and farmers in rural Nigeria