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University of KwaZulu-Natal (2004)

Perceptions and management of risk by commercial farmers in Eritrea.

Mohammed, Mohammed Abdurahman

Titre : Perceptions and management of risk by commercial farmers in Eritrea.

Auteur : Mohammed, Mohammed Abdurahman.

Université de soutenance : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURE (AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS) 2004

Résumé
A survey of 186 commercial farmers from three Zobas (provinces) of Eritrea was conducted between November 2002 and February 2003 to examine farmers’ perceptions of risk, to determine the most important sources of risk affecting farmers’ decisions, to identify managerial responses to risks and to identify information use. As part of the main survey, 74 randomly selected commercial dairy farmers were also interviewed to identify factors that affect the purchase of livestock insurance. Findings show that whilst some risks are of concern to most farmers, others are more enterprise or region specific. In general, changes in weather, changes in the labour force, and diseases, pests and weeds were identified as being important sources of risk for most farmers. Factor analysis was used to analyse heterogeneity amongst farmers’ perceptions of various risks. Results indicate that programmes designed to assist farmers in Eritrea to manage production and price risks should vary between enterprises and between regions. Policy implications of this research include that the government of Eritrea should disseminate information to clarify agricultural tax and land policies, and its demobilization and rehabilitation programmes. Relaxing foreign exchange rate controls may reduce price risks in agricultural input markets. Increased use of information sources, choice of production system, keeping production records, and diversification of farm enterprises were found to be the main production responses to risk. Important marketing responses included indirect selling (e.g. to the grain board or wholesalers) and use of marketing information, while important financial responses were keeping financial records and investing off-farm. Factor analysis was used to analyse heterogeneity amongst farmers’ managerial responses to risk.

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