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University of Fort Hare (2019)

Indigenous cereal crops and food security issues in Zimbabwe : the case of Matabeleland Provinces

Nyathi, Vuyiswa Sandra

Titre : Indigenous cereal crops and food security issues in Zimbabwe : the case of Matabeleland Provinces

Auteur : Nyathi, Vuyiswa Sandra

Université de soutenance : University of Fort Hare

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Social Sciences 2019

Résumé
The study endeavoured to find out how indigenous cereal crops in the form of sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet, popularly known as small grain, would help in increasing cereal production in the dry regions of Zimbabwe so as to alleviate food insecurity. For the past decade the nation’s cereal production has been on the decline with the country having to rely on grain imports from neighbouring countries to prevent hunger. Studies that have been carried out have indicated that these indigenous cereal crops are better suited for semi-arid regions like Matabeleland, used as a case study, where maize has almost always been a failing crop. The study examined representations of smallholder farmers through interviews held with agricultural personnel in Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South Provinces. The study argues that instead of relying on maize only as a staple crop, in the semiarid regions of the country, indigenous cereal crops are suitable alternative staple crops in Zimbabwe. Indications from the findings of the study are that diversification of staple crop production should stress the importance of state mediation, distribution and promotion of indigenous cereal crops. The researcher thus proposes that the reliance on indigenous crops be anchored in community food security, food sovereignty and rural food system perspectives, not negating the negative effects of climate change on food production. The results showed that despite progress made by the state in assisting farmers with agricultural inputs, very little has been achieved in alleviating food insecurity in the dry regions, as indigenous cereal crops continue being pushed to the periphery of the agricultural sector. iii The study concludes by putting forward that addressing the stated challenges could lead to the potential of indigenous cerealcrops potentially increasing the cereal supply for the nation, thus alleviating food security woes as these crops grow favourably even in the most adverse weather conditions and poor topography

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Page publiée le 19 janvier 2021