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Stellenbosch University (2022)

Development of a livestock management database system towards sustainable smallholder farming systems in South Africa

Mapiye, Obvious

Titre : Development of a livestock management database system towards sustainable smallholder farming systems in South Africa

Auteur : Mapiye, Obvious

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhDAgric) 2022

Résumé partiel
The commercialisation of smallholder farmers has taken the lead on the development agenda of many developing countries. Invariably, the majority of smallholder livestock producers are less productive than commercial producers and lag in commercialisation. Apart from the multifaceted challenges that smallholder farmers face, limited access to appropriate information and extension services constrains their sustainability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to design and develop a Livestock Management Database System (LMDS) for improving the sustainability of commercially oriented smallholder cattle producers in the North West Province of South Africa. The system promotes the efficiency of delivering agricultural extension services and the upscaling of smallholder livestock production through improved access to tailored information and services. The study was guided by the pragmatic paradigm, which accommodates positivism (quantitative) and normative (qualitative) perspectives. A partially mixed sequential explanatory design with a dominant quantitative method was adopted. A structured questionnaire was administered to 101 commercially oriented beneficiaries of the Nguni cattle project in North West Province, South Africa, to collect quantitative data. Qualitative data were collected through focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs) with farmers and extension officers, respectively. A double-bounded contingent evaluation method was used to estimate the farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for rangeland conservation and regeneration. A binary logistic regression model was used to evaluate the determinants of farmers’ WTP. The results show that most farmers (>80%) were willing to pay the initial bid price of ZAR165.00, with the estimated mean WTP being ZAR244.00 ha -1 year -1 for improving rangelands. The logistic regression findings show that the farmers’ WTP responses were influenced by education (p = 0.012), most important breed (p = 0.039), farming experience (p = 0.026), goat ownership (p = 0.022), ecoregion (p = 0.079), and income from cattle sales (p = 0.048). The high WTP results highlight the potential of involving the smallholder cattle farmers in implementing payment-based programs designed to improve the ecological sustainability of rangeland ecosystems and even introduce new interventions such as the LMDS. However, one of the complex challenges of driving the growth of commercially oriented smallholder farmers is ensuring that farmers understand and use new technologie

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