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University of Fort Hare (2012)

Impact of animal traction power on agricultural productivity case of lowlands of Mohales Hoek district of Lesotho

Rampokanyo, Lepolesa Michael

Titre : Impact of animal traction power on agricultural productivity case of lowlands of Mohales Hoek district of Lesotho

Auteur : Rampokanyo, Lepolesa Michael

Université de soutenance : University of Fort Hare

Grade : M.Agric. (Agricultural economics) 2012

Résumé partiel
Most farming at subsistence level is located in rural areas where the majority of smallholder farmers have low productivity which results in high rate of food insecurity. The areas are characterised by animal traction and poor farming practises, and monoculture is mostly preferred. In light of this, this study analyzed the impact of animal power on agricultural productivity. Smallholder farmers in the lowlands of Mohale’s Hoek district of Lesotho were investigated by means of a case study methodology. The aim of the study was to inform agricultural policy about the level and key determinants of inefficiency in the smallholder farming system so as to contribute to policy designed to raise productivity of smallholder farmers. The sampling frame comprised farmers and extension workers in the lowlands of Mohale’s Hoek district. From this frame, 118 farmers and 4 extension workers were randomly selected from four villages, namely‘Mapotsane, Potsane, Tsoloane and Siloe. The four groups of farmers include ; the farmers owning and using cattle for ploughing, farmers owning tractor and cattle and using them for ploughing, farmers owning tractor only and using it for ploughing, and farmers who owned neither cattle nor tractor and normally hire these when ploughing operations are to be done on the farm. The interviews of these farmers and extension workers were conducted by means of semi-structured questionnaire which consisted of both open and close ended questions. The study used the stochastic frontier production model for the production efficiencies and linear regression model for the impact of animal traction on agricultural productivity. Both procedures provided insights into the relative contributions of animal power and traditional systems to poverty alleviation and food security in the project areas. Descriptive statistics were employed for farming systems and challenges facing small scale farmers. Gross Margins analysis was conducted for the animal power and tractor power yield levels for maize crop to compare the two types of power. Some diagnostic tests to detect serial correlation and heteroskedasticity and t-tests were also performed. The significant variables include the area of sorghum ploughed, members of the household that assist with family labour, education, quantity of fertilizer applied, time taken by the farmers in farming, members who are formally employed, household size, area of land ploughed, old age, costs of tractor and animal, marital status, income, area of maize ploughed, area of sorghum ploughed, quantity of fertilizers applied, costs of seeds and fertilizers applied, maize and sorghum yield and amount sold and consumed

Mots clés : Animals Traction Productivity Sorghum Maize Lesotho Mohales Hoek Food Security


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