ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0168.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: drought; institutions; smallholder farmers; water security
Online: 9 August 2022 (03:49:28 CEST)
Disasters such as the 2015-2018 drought in South Africa usually negatively impact agricultural water, especially in smallholder farming systems. This study assessed the availability of irrigation water, performance of irrigation infrastructure, and water governance systems in Genadendal, Western Cape, with a focus on smallholder farmers. Data for streamflow, dam levels, and rainfall were acquired from water institutions and analysed using Microsoft Excel. The performance of the infrastructure and water governance were assessed based on the perceptions of smallholder farmers and key informants. A questionnaire was administered to eight smallholder farmers, followed by a focus group discussion with 15 smallholder farmers. Interviews were conducted with eight key informants who worked in water-related institutions. Qualitative data from the interviews were analysed using thematic content analysis. The study showed adequate agricultural water resources during the 2015-2018 drought period for the smallholder farmers who relied on water from dams. However, smallholder farmers who relied on the Riviersonderend River experienced severe water shortages during the same period. The findings also showed that there was poor performance of irrigation water infrastructure due to inadequate maintenance. Lack of coordination among institutions, insufficient funding, political interference, fragmentation of roles and responsibilities, lack of human resources, and farmers’ lack of participation and commitment in water resources management contributed to the dysfunctionality of irrigation water governance systems, leading to water insecurity. This study recommends adequate funding for the operation and maintenance of infrastructure. Furthermore, water institutions need to support smallholder farmers with training skills in agricultural water management and infrastructure maintenance. Further studies are recommended to quantify the water lost due to the poor performance of water infrastructure and to develop effective water governance in Genadendal.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0761.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0151.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0601.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Macadamia; Smallholder farmers; Lucrative crop; Poverty reduction; Consumption
Online: 24 November 2020 (08:31:43 CET)
Macadamia (Macadamia integrifolia) nuts have become an essential commodity crop in Malawi. The nuts are a lucrative commodity and are used for household consumption and income generation among farming families and as a foreign exchange earning crop at country-level. In addition, macadamia production has increased significantly in recent years in the country. Currently, Malawi is the seventh top producer of macadamia nuts, with a global market share of three percent (1,846 metric tonnes on kernel basis). In 2018, exports of macadamia kernel had a value of US$24.3 million (£19.8 million or MKW 18.01 billion). However, the bulk (85%) of the crop is grown on large commercial plantations, but the smallholder sector is emerging as vital for the future growth of the macadamia sub-sector in Malawi. Furthermore, Malawian smallholders consider macadamia production to be a low-input crop with large returns per unit area (US$14.37 kg-1ha-1 or MKW 10,701kg-1ha-1) thus a lucrative crop with high potential for poverty reduction and wealth creation among these farming families. This paper, therefore, explores: (i) the historical and current trends in macadamia nut production in Malawi; (ii) analyses the country’s macadamia value chain and (iii) discusses the constraints of macadamia production in Malawi for informed policymaking. Thus, the synthesis of the Malawian macadamia sub-sector provides an understanding of the vital contributions of macadamias to Malawi’s economic growth and improvement of livelihoods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0171.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other 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/preprints202205.0059.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: smallholder women farmers; Newcastle disease vaccines; informal institutional barriers
Online: 6 May 2022 (04:34:32 CEST)
Institutional barriers can hinder effective access and utilisation of Newcastle disease vaccines among smallholder chicken farmers. Many studies have focused on formal institutional barriers with minimal focus on informal institutions - unwritten rules and regulations that govern access and utilisation of Newcastle vaccines. However, informal institutions are more profound and encultured in individuals’ daily activities. This study sought to investigate informal institutional barriers to access and utilisation of Newcastle disease vaccines among women smallholder chicken farmers in Makueni, Kenya. The cross-sectional qualitative study employed in-depth interviews, key informant interviews and focus group discussions as data collection methods. Study informants were conveniently and purposively sampled. Informal institutional barriers to access and utilisation included: fear of Newcastle disease vaccine as a new technology, use of herbal remedies, mistrust of community vaccinators, gender division of labour, ownership of household resources and beliefs that indigenous chickens do not need vaccines. The study concludes that women chicken farmers are constrained by unwritten rules, norms, regulations and gender roles that hinder their access to and utilisation of the Newcastle disease vaccines. The need to examine informal institutions to identify and eradicate barriers to access and utilisation of Newcastle disease vaccines by farmers is recommended.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0145.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Technology; Adoption; Agriculture; Coffee; Smallholder; Extension; Credit; Market; Access
Online: 15 April 2022 (10:44:57 CEST)
The use of improved agricultural technologies has been reported as the major strategy to increase agricultural production, increased household incomes and addressing poverty. However, adoption of such improved technologies by smallholder coffee farmers has been slow and this has contributed to the low coffee productivity in the country and the poor performance of the coffee sub sector. The study was meant to examine the effect of institutional factors including extension services, access to market and access to credit on technology adoption among smallholder coffee farmers in Kanungu District, Uganda. The study collected both quantitative and qualitative data from 289 smallholder coffee farmers and 8 key informants respectively in major coffee growing sub counties in Kanungu district. The study revealed that access to extension services and access to market have a positive significant influence on agricultural technology adoption while access to market has no significant influence on agricultural technology adoption. The study concluded that there is a positive significant relationship between institutional factors and technology adoption among smallholder coffee farmers in Kanungu district.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0294.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0159.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0232.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Marketing Keywords: cooperatives; crop marketing index; municipality; smallholder-farmer; supermarkets; vendors
Online: 15 March 2020 (01:23:55 CET)
Recent studies of the difficulties faced by smallholder farmers in many developing countries have echoed their disconnection with formal markets. These limitations have been attributed to a number of factors including stringent quality and volume requirements, among others. While smallholder farmers seek access to formal markets, the existing alternatives through which they sell their produce remain obscure. Using an interview of market outlets and selected smallholder farmers in the area, the study applied a crop marketing index to examine the outlets currently used by farmers and the volume of potatoes sold in each. Findings indicate that smallholder farmers on average sold sixty-eight percent of their produce. The outlet mostly used by farmers was street vendors because the large supermarkets sold potatoes supplied from external sources. It would be helpful for smallholder farmers to aggregate their produce through producer and marketing cooperatives, to better engage with these formal market outlets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0224.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: Teff, Smallholder, market participation, Heckman two stages, Gena-Bossa.
Online: 8 November 2018 (15:11:03 CET)
Increasing market participation among smallholder farmers have a big potential to uplift living standards of poor through increasing production and consumption pattern. Although, smallholder farming made 95% of total crop production in Ethiopia, they are exposed to a marketing bottleneck that hinders benefits from their produce. The objective of this study was analyzing factors determining smallholder Teff farmer decision to participate in output market and level of marketed output.The study used data from 190 respondents from four selected Teff dominant kebeles of Gena-Bossa districts in Dawro Zone, through structured questioner. This investigation was imperative because no adequate research has been done in study area in examining the hindering factors of farmers’ market participation. Moreover, in the prior study, different authors come up with varied outcomes in diverse country and geographic location concerning poor farmers’ market participation decision. The descriptive statistics and Heckman two stage econometric methods were employed to analyze data collected from sampled household. The significance of coefficient of inverse Mill’s ratio ( ) indicates the presence of self-selection bias and the effectiveness of applying Heckman two stage model. The results of study show that the smallholder decision to participate in output market were positively influenced by size of land holding, availability of family labor force, education status of household head, accessibility of credit service and access to market price information. On the other hand, size of family member, sex of house hold head being female and distance to market place discourage probability of Teff farmer market participation decision. Moreover, the second stage estimation reveals that, the education status of house hold head, size of farm land, amount of Teff crop produced, accessibility of market information, the size of family labor force and being member to farm cooperative increase the quantity of marketable output, whereas, large number of family size decline the level of Teff crops marketed. The policy that assist poor farmers in obtaining market skills; create affordable credit service; strengthen community based producer groups and capacitating the females socially and economically in the community believed to minimize the problems encountering small farmers in a way to market their crop
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0144.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Microeconomics And Decision Sciences Keywords: Cropland allocation, linear programming, Crop production performance, Smallholder, resource management
Online: 7 September 2018 (15:41:18 CEST)
Crop production is a major livelihood activity of smallholders in Ethiopia. However, it is often characterized by low performance. In an effort to improve crop production, a series of agricultural extension programs have been running in Ethiopia since the 1950s. Nevertheless, the performance of agriculture is still low. In this study, it is argued that the limited attention given to cropland allocation methodologies is one of the major causes of low performance of crop production and increased environmental degradation. This study used linear programming to examine the role and impacts of cropland allocation methods on performance of crop production. The data for this study was drawn from household survey of 75 randomly selected households combined with focus-grouped discussion, key informant interview, and secondary data. In the current conventional cropland allocation, households were not able to meet their household consumption. The average profitability of farms under current practice was found significantly below than estimated optimal level of profit that could be realized using linear programming. In addition, it uncovered that low performance of crop production (in terms of meeting household consumption demand and profitability) is the primary cause that limited the effort of households to participate in environmental and natural resource management. This study suggests the use of linear programming-based cropland allocation to enhance the profit performance of smallholder crop production, meeting household consumption requirement, and thereby promote sustainable utilization of natural and environmental resources.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0272.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: agroecology; physical reproduction; social reproduction; agency; sub-Saharan Africa; smallholder agriculture
Online: 16 August 2022 (03:31:35 CEST)
This paper investigates how agroecology in Africa is researched for two purposes. First, we present evidence of links between agroecology and food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa. Second, we investigate which pathways of influence are dominant in the existing research and which pathways are under-represented. To achieve these objectives we anchor our analysis within feminist economics, thereby making use of the concepts of social reproduction and agency in our analysis of the literature. By employing a systematic literature review of empirical studies from African countries, starting from 1996 to 2020, we consolidate evidence that agroecology has contributed to food and nutrition security by acting toward sustainability at the farm level. However, our review shows in a second step that social and household dimensions of agroecology at the level of households and territories are not well documented in research linking agroecology to food security and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. Given that sustainable production practices such as agroecological practices are not mutually exclusive from the social activities of farmers and cultural contexts in which farmers are embedded, it is important to consider social and ecological processes concomitantly when assessing the value of Agroecology programs.
Subject: Keywords: UAV; multi-spectral imageries; multi-locational; Maize yield; smallholder; vegetation indices
Online: 19 October 2020 (16:00:27 CEST)
Rapid assessment of maize yields in smallholder farming system is important to understand its spatial and temporal variability and for timely agronomic decision-support. Imageries acquired with unmanned air vehicles (UAV) offer opportunity to assess agronomic variables at field scale, however, it is not clear if this can be translated into reliable yield assessment on smallholder farms where field conditions, maize genotypes, and management practices vary within short distances. In this study, we assessed the predictability of maize grain yield using UAV-derived vegetation indices (VI), with(out) biophysical variables, in smallholder farms. High-resolution images were acquired with UAV-borne multispectral sensor at 4 and 8 weeks after sowing (WAS) on 31 farmers’ managed fields (FMFs) and 12 nearby Nutrient Omission Trials (NOT), all distributed across 5 locations within the core maize region of Nigeria. The NOTs included non-fertilized and fertilized plots (with and without micronutrients), sown with open-pollinated or hybrid maize genotypes. Acquired multispectral images were post-processed into several three (s) vegetation indices (VIs), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), normalized difference red-edge (NDRE), green-normalized difference vegetation index (GNDVI). Biophysical variables, plant height (Ht) and percent canopy cover (CC), were measured with the georeferenced plot locations recorded. In the NOTs, the nutrient status, not genotype, influenced the grain yield variability and outcome. The maximum grain yield observed in NOTs was 9.3 tha-1, compared to 5.4 tha-1 in FMF. Without accounting for between- and within-field variations, there was no relationship between UAV-derived VIs and grain yield at 4WAS (r<0.02, P>0.1), but significant correlations were observed at 8WAS (r≤0.3; p<0.001). Ht was positively correlated with grain yield at 4WAS (r=0.5, R2=0.25, p<0.001), and more strongly at 8WAS (r=0.7, R2=0.55, p<0.001), while relationship between CC and yield was only significant at 8WAS. By accounting for within- and between-field variations in NOTs and FMF (separately) through linear mixed-effects modeling, predictability of grain yield from UAV-derived VIs was generally (R2≤0.24), however, the inclusion of ground-measured biophysical variable (mainly Ht) improved the explained yield variability (R2 ≥0.62, RMSEP≤0.35) in NOTs but not in FMF. We conclude that yield prediction with UAV-acquired imageries (before harvest) is more reliable under controlled experimental conditions (NOTs), than in actual farmer-managed fields where various confounding agronomic factors can amplify noise-signal within the vegetation canopy.
Subject: Keywords: Smallholder farmer; Vocational training; Income; Endogenous transformation regression model; Moderating effect
Online: 14 September 2020 (00:20:07 CEST)
This article explores the impact of farmers’ vocational training on their income. Survey data concerning agricultural product quality and agricultural product sales were collected by the research team in Yantai City, China. An endogenous transformation regression model (ESR) was then used to analyze the impact of training on farmers’ family income, and the income mechanism was further tested. The results from the empirical analysis suggest that (1) Participating in training can significantly increase farmers’ income; (2) Farmers who pay more attention to the quality of their agricultural products during the production process are more likely to see their incomes increase after participating in the training.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0163.v1
Subject: 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: Social Sciences, 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/preprints202111.0069.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Marketing Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic; Smallholder rural farmers’ vulnerability; Humane buying; Nigeria; sustainable development goals
Online: 3 November 2021 (09:04:31 CET)
While several studies have examined the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on smallholder rural farmers and possible efforts to scale up their livelihood and food security, the role of consumers’ buying orientation in addressing farmers’ vulnerability in the post-pandemic era has not been explored. The paper, therefore, aims to propose and conceptualize humane buying orientation, and further explore its role in attenuating smallholder rural farmers’ vulnerability in the new normal. The qualitative design approach has been employed in two different studies. Collected data were analyzed using the SPSS 23.0 and following the interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings validate humane buying as an altruistic orientation that will contribute to lessening the vulnerability of smallholder rural farmers in the post-pandemic era. It also shows that an enlarged-stakeholders’ (government, international agencies, corporate bodies, institutions, privileged individuals/consumers, religious organizations, etc.) effort that is rooted in morality and empathy, is required to successfully tackle the vulnerability of smallholder rural farmers, especially in developing countries such as Nigeria. The study is the first to propose, conceptualize and validate humane buying as a post-Covid-19 orientation that is capable of attenuating the vulnerability of smallholder rural farmers which has been worsened by the pandemic. The paper contributes to the understanding of emerging strategic actions required for the attainment of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals - ending poverty and hunger by 2030, and how consumers can play a key role.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0225.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: double hurdle; ICTs; market participation; information source; probit; regression model; smallholder farmer; livestock
Online: 17 December 2019 (09:59:33 CET)
The study explored the contribution of ICT-based information sources to market participation among smallholder livestock farmers. Use of ICTs is considered paramount for providing smallholder farmers with required market information, in order to reduce market asymmetries. A Double Hurdle regression was utilized to analyze data collected from 150 smallholder livestock farmers in the study area. The results show that while use of ICT-based market information sources significantly influenced market participation, the effect of using ICT-based information sources on intensity of market participation was not significant. Other variables shown to influence both market participation and the intensity of market participation were age, additional income and membership of farmer cooperatives. This suggests the need to also consider other associated factors in the application of interventions which utilize ICT-based information sources in achieving planned market interventions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0498.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: Cattle farming; COVID-19 pandemic; economic point of view; food safety; HOMER; hybrid system; smallholder; thin-film coating
Online: 21 September 2020 (07:32:51 CEST)
This paper reports on the optimization of thin-film coating assisted self-sustainable off-grid hybrid power generation systems for cattle farming in rural areas of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a lower middle-income country with declining rates of poverty among its 160 million people due to persistent economic growth in conjunction with balanced agricultural improvements. Most of the rural households adopt a mixed farming system by cultivating crops and simultaneously rearing livestock. Among the animals raised, cattle are considered as the most valuable asset for the small/medium-scale farmers in terms of their meat and milk production. Currently, along with the major health issue, the COVID-19 pandemic is hindering the world’s economic growth and has thrust millions into unemployment; Bangladesh is also in this loop. However, natural disasters such as COVID-19 pandemic and floods, largely constrain rural smallholder cattle farmers from climbing out of their poverty. In particular, small and medium-scale cattle farmers face many issues that obstruct them from taking advantage of market opportunities and imposing a greater burden on their families and incomes. An appropriate measure can give a way to make those cattle farmers’ businesses both profitable and sustainable. Optimization of thin-film coating assisted self-sustainable off-grid hybrid power generation system for cattle farming is a new and forward-looking approach for sustainable development of the livestock sector. In this study, we design and optimize a thin-film coating assisted hybrid (photovoltaic-battery-generator) power system by using the Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources (HOMER, Version 3.14.0) simulation tool. An analysis of the results has suggested that the off-grid hybrid system is more feasible for small and medium-scale cattle farming systems with long-term sustainability to overcome the significant challenges faced by smallholder cattle farmers in Bangladesh.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0396.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: structural equation modelling; smallholder farmers; smartphone apps; decision support systems; unified theory of acceptance and use of technology; innovation hubs, mastery-approach goal
Online: 16 December 2020 (08:33:48 CET)
While current studies have focused on adoption and the relevant content of the app to become a decision support system, very few studies have focused on the farmer's intention and initial decision to adopt. Based on a survey of 394 smallholder farmers this study investigated Mexican farmers’ willingness to adopt an agricultural advice app. A Structural Equation Modelling approach, based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) was applied. To understand farmers’ adoption decision, extended constructs were studied (e.g. mastery-approach goals) along with farmers’ age and participation in an innovation hub. Results showed that the intention to adopt the app is predicted by how farmers believe that technical infrastructure exists and by the expectation of the farmers using the app to acquire new knowledge. The multi-group analysis revealed that performance expectancy is a relevant predictor of the intention to adopt, whereas the mastery-approach goal is relevant only for younger and farmers not connected to the innovation hub. The results may well be a baseline to research further suitable non-financial incentives for different farmers’ groups, then encourage initial adoption and enhance uptake. The findings are useful for practitioners and app developers designing digital decision support tools.