REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0761.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: conservatio; , biodiversity; medicinal plants; smallholder farmer; strategy
Online: 30 December 2020 (15:26:11 CET)
South Africa has an abundant heritage of valuable indigenous plants with recognized medicinal value. The reported critical over-harvesting of wild populations is considered an urgent issue for biodiversity conservation. Growing demand for therapeutic products from indigenous medicinal plants have led to increased interest in its cultivation. Cultivation of these indigenous medicinal plants represent a viable option for improving smallholder farmers’ livelihoods, as well as sustaining the availability of these resources for future generations. Serious bottlenecks however exists for subsistent farmers in the cultivation of these valuable plants. It was pertinent to probe whether the cultivation of medicinal plants provide feasible solutions to rural poverty, while effectively conserving threatened indigenous biodiversity. The paper employed a comprehensive review of existing literature to explore relevant issues constraining smallholder farmers from involvement in a potentially lucrative medicinal plants value-chain. Findings indicate challenges such as inadequate domestication of valuable plants species, continued over-harvesting from wild populations, poor knowledge of required agronomic practices, low efficacy perception regarding derivatives from cultivated plants, among a multitude of others. These constraints exists alongside the conservation-oriented strategy driven by international conservation agencies and wholly adopted by the South African government. Recommendations to improve smallholder involvement in the cultivation of medicinal plants include support to research and extension, targeted inducement to smallholders, contracting and off-take agreements, aimed at promoting an alternative poverty-alleviation-focused economic development strategy. The review adds to the conceptual discourse related to plant diversity, resource conservation, poverty alleviation and economic development within the medicinal plants value-chain.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0171.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: additional income; commercialization; cooperatives; smallholder farmer; ICTs; variables
Online: 10 March 2020 (14:06:29 CET)
The study examined key socio-economic characteristics of smallholder farmers identified for their contribution to market participation. These variables include gender, age, marital status, level of education, household size, additional income, membership of cooperative, herd size and use of ICTs. Using a structured questionnaire, primary data was collected from a total of 129 respondents which was analysed with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, and presented using cross-tabulations, percentages and count data. The result indicates that age, additional income, cooperative membership and use of ICTs were important variables which contributed to market participation among respondents. The study also made applicable recommendations as the findings may have relevance for future research, policy and practice for commercializing smallholder farmers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0163.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: information source; smallholder farmers; ICTs; adoption; conceptual framework; sub-Sahara Africa
Online: 10 March 2020 (10:29:14 CET)
The importance of ICTs for dissemination of information to farmers has been verified by extension practitioners, information and communication scholars, policy makers and development agencies. Information related to new seed varieties, production technologies, livestock breeds, vaccines, including weed and pest control, as well as relevant market information is constantly required by smallholder farmers. The identification of specific attributes among smallholder farmers which contributes to their adoption of a proposed ICT-based information source provides an important tool for developing interventions which address the information needs of farmers. Using a literature survey methodology, pertinent studies related to adoption of ICTs, farmers’ information source usage and relevant frameworks were identified, including applicable theories and models in technology adoption and information behaviour. In the proposed framework, the socio-economic characteristics of smallholder farmers were posited as key variables influencing smallholder farmers, within a farming system, to adopt ICT-based information sources. The framework contributes to discern the prospects of adopting ICT-based information sources by individual farmers within a farming system, and may also envisage other related welfare outcomes and market participation pathways among smallholder farmers. The review also addresses the paucity of conceptual discourse, while contributing to a growing pool of research on ICT in African agriculture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0062.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Marketing Keywords: cocoyam; cooperatives; farm-gate; market channel; multinomial logit; regression; smallholder farmers
Online: 4 March 2020 (10:40:16 CET)
Market channel choice makes important contributions to the incomes and other livelihood attributes among smallholder farmers in developing countries. Often considered from a number of perspectives, the dominant view articulated suggests an advantageous integration into formal market channels. This position is questioned as it has implications for smallholder farmers’ food security and rural incomes. Using a mixed methods approach, the study collected primary data from 174 smallholder farmers and applied both a descriptive and multinomial logit regression model to analyze factors contributing to cocoyam production and market channel choices among respondents in the study area. Findings indicate that financial returns and available markets were key factors in cocoyam production, while amount received was a driver of market channel choice among 89% of respondents who sold directly at farm-gate. Farmers’ age (p=0.044), household size (p=0.043), distance to market (p=0.021), additional income (p=0.017) and amount received (p=0.014) were significant variables (p<.05) in the determinants of market channel choice. The study recommended improving market information provision and strengthening farmer associations which will enable smallholder farmers in rural communities to make informed choices with respect to produce price, access other markets and consolidate their collective market bargaining position.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0609.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Safety Research Keywords: agriculture; farm-worker; hazard; perception; protective-materials; risks; safety
Online: 24 November 2020 (09:50:40 CET)
Safety and health issues are growing concerns in the agricultural sector among farm-workers in South Africa. The current health pandemic arising from the corona virus has thrown these issues into the spotlight, and this study explored the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of using personal protective materials among farm-workers in the banana sector. Using a case study of 10 large farms in the lower south coast of South Africa, we utilized descriptive and inferential analysis to identify the demographic composition of farm-workers in the study area, examine their perception of specific personal protective materials, and determine the relationship between demographic characteristics and perception of personal protective materials. Farm-workers in the study area were found to be predominantly single black males aged between 36-55years, with no more than a primary education, with work experience of between 6-10 years and employed as unskilled farm-labourers. Perceived usefulness (83%) and perceived ease of use (79%) for personal protective materials was high. Respondents gender (p=0.012), marital status (p=0.029), level of education (p=0.035) and farm-work experience (p=0.008) were significant, while their age (p=0.057), population group (p=0.160) and work classification (p=0.203) were not found significant in determining perceived usefulness or perceived ease of use. Our study makes valuable contribution to the existing body of knowledge regarding farm-worker safety issues by exploring perception of personal protective materials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0539.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Networks And Communications Keywords: Correlation; Disease; Extension; Information-Score; Livestock; Perceived-Usefulness
Online: 25 August 2020 (05:01:42 CEST)
Smallholder livestock farmers utilize their existing communication networks as information sources. This study explored these information sources, frequency of contacts and perceived usefulness of information from these sources. Using descriptive and correlation analysis, it categorized respondents according to total information score and explored the relationship between their scores and socio-economic characteristics. Findings show that 65% of farmers in the area scored a high reliance on fellow farmers and extension officials. Mass media sources such as radio and television scored low on perceived usefulness. The correlation coefficients for age (-0.228), farming experience (0.183), extension visits (0.002) and information contacts (0.214) were significant (p<0.05). Level of education (0.256), herd size (0.067) and perceived usefulness of information contacts (0.252) were also significant (p<0.01). Gender, household size, income, cooperative participation and access to financial services were not correlated to the total information scores of respondents. It was recommended that mass media sources in the area be supported by extension communication specialists to disseminate livestock-health related information.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0294.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: approaches; extension services; market system; pluralistic; rural development; smallholder
Online: 13 August 2020 (08:07:40 CEST)
Agricultural extension and advisory services in Africa have significant impact on food security as well as economic and social development. Recent moves towards a pluralistic delivery system, including the emergence of private-sector led initiatives in many countries are subject of policy and academic discourse. Our study used an adapted, fit-for-purpose market systems development framework to review available research in extension and advisory services in selected sub-Sahara Africa countries. Using a literature survey methodology, we report evidence of multiple actors in extension delivery, findings that point towards evolution towards mixed delivery as well as objectives. While there are significant uptake of cost-recovery approaches among commercially-oriented farmers, many smallholder farmers still depended on donor-funded services. Our review adds to existing knowledge through incorporating a market systems development framework, which extends the often-used willingness to pay approach, and highlights the need for merger of the public and private-sector objectives to achieve developmental outcomes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0151.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: efficacy; ethno-veterinary; livestock; medicine; smallholder farmer
Online: 9 March 2020 (10:03:51 CET)
Often touted as an ancient and sustainable practice among indigenous livestock farmers in developing countries, the use of ethno-veterinary medicine is examined within the context of its efficacy. While there are undoubtedly positive implications for adopting knowledge and practice that align with nature, there is both prevalence and ambivalence to the adoption of indigenous plant knowledge and resources for the treatment of livestock infections and diseases. This situation is due to the lack of validation and standardization of the practice in low-income countries, requiring scholarly efforts in developing this indigenous knowledge system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0159.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Networks And Communications Keywords: awareness; livestock farmer; ICT-source; market information; rural; smallholder
Online: 9 May 2020 (08:46:42 CEST)
The utility of ICTs for providing market information to rural smallholder farmers is growing rapidly, and access to reliable information and sources is considered crucial for beneficial market interaction. This study explored critical factors contributing to usage of electronic sources for market information search among rural smallholder livestock farmers. Using data collected from 129 respondents through a non-random sampling technique; descriptive and regression analysis was applied to identify key factors responsible for their awareness and use of ICT-based market information sources. Level of education was found to be a driver of awareness of ICT-based sources, and use of these sources was influenced by farmer-specific characteristics such as household size, education, income, membership of cooperatives and herd-size. The key ICT tools used was radio and mobile phones, widely available in the study area. Identified constraints to use of these ICTs include cost and patchy network signals in some areas. Policy interventions to reduce cost of mobile phone services and expansion of base stations; including practical recommendations for improved programming in radio and television offerings, are considered indispensable for greater uptake of e-information sources among smallholder livestock farmers.