Open Access Original Research Article

Economic Performance of Cotton and Fruit Plantations in arid Regions: Observation from the Tarim River Basin, NW China

Haiyan Peng, Niels Thevs, Volker Beckmann, Nurbay Abdusalih

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-15
DOI: 10.9734/AJAEES/2016/22254

Arid lands cover 17% of the world’s land. There, crop production largely depends on irrigation and frequently faces water shortages. Cotton is grown in arid lands, e.g. Central Asia and Northwest China. Today, the Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, China has turned into the world’s most important cotton production region with an annual cotton lint production of 2.1 million t (8.85% of the world production). Against the background of water shortages, cotton farmers in parts of the Tarim Basin have shifted to more highly valuable fruit production, especially Zyzyphus jujube (Chinese Date) and the so-called Korla Fragrant Pear (Pyrus bretschneideri Rdhd.).

This paper thus aims at assessing the costs, revenues, and profits as well as the return to land and the return to family labor obtained by farmers from those three crops in the Tarim Basin. Data were gathered through farm interviews.

Seed cotton yield was 4482 kg/ha in average, with 6155 kg/ha attained by farms under the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC). XPCC, family farms, and commercial farms attained profits of 16846 CNY/ha, 1480 CNY/ha, and 3165 CNY/ha, respectively. Profits from Chinese Date were 53255 CNY/ha and 64279 CNY/ha for family farms and commercial farms, respectively. Among the cotton farm types, the XPCC have the highest profits and return to land. This largely can be explained by the high seed cotton yields of the XPCC farms. Though the XPCC farms are operated by single families, they belong to a strict organization, the XPCC, which urges the families to plant cotton, but provides extension services, too.

Chinese Date has become an attractive alternative for small family farms.

The value of this study lies in the primary data, household interviews, used. This especially applies for commercial farms which are located outside villages and their statistics.

Open Access Original Research Article

Potato Production and Supply by Smallholder Farmers in Guinea: An Economic Analysis

Emmanuel Tolno, Hajime Kobayashi, Matsumura Ichizen, Mohamed Esham, Boubacar Siddighi Balde

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-16
DOI: 10.9734/AJAEES/2016/21726

The purpose of the current study was to assess the determinants of the quantity of potato produced and marketed by smallholder farmers in Guinea. Potato has emerged as an attractive cash crop due to its income-generating potential and is one of the main sources of income for the majority of the resource-poor smallholder farmers. Thus increasing production and improving marketing efficiency has the potential for raising incomes of the farming households. Using a multi-stage sampling technique, data was collected from a sample of 90 potato producers in Middle Guinea. Results of the Cobb Douglas production function showed that potato area, improved seed use and fertilizer, positively influenced the potato output, while production losses are negatively associated with the potato output. A supply function used to investigate factors influencing the quantity of potato marketed revealed that quantity produced, price of potato and share of sales four weeks after harvest were positively associated with quantity of potato supplied to the market, whereas quantities retained for seed, food and gifts, and post-harvest losses have negative effects on the quantity of potato marketed. Results also revealed that none of the relevant production inputs used by the sample farmers were efficiently allocated and utilized. Constraints to potato production and supply include lack of funds, poor irrigation, pest and disease, the high cost of transportation, lack of storage facilities among others. Findings, therefore, suggest that government and development stakeholders should encourage and support farmer organizations, develop agricultural and marketing infrastructures, so as to boost agricultural production and farmers’ market access.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Role of Social Network and Regional System in Maintaining Livelihood Security of Smallholder Farmers in Central Kenya

Matheaus K. Kauti

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-23
DOI: 10.9734/AJAEES/2016/20368

Taking smallholder settlements constituting a relatively compact set of two newly settled villages adjacent Northeastern Slopes of Aberdare, Central Kenya as the main research field, the study: investigates the migration patterns, kinship relations and emerging associational life in the study sites; explores the social networks underpinning the exchange and sharing of information and knowledge by the smallholder farmers; and illuminates the functioning of the regional system driven by local-level area differences arising from ecological gradient of a mountain slope. It draws from both qualitative and quantitative data collected from field surveys between 2007 and 2009. Additional field work was conducted intermitted between 2010 and 2012. Findings reveal that lack of land and the ensuing process of migration led to geographical dispersal of household members and breakdown of common household residence formerly a basis for primary bonds and cohesiveness of the kinship system. Thus, kinship relations have weakened and in their place emerged new associational life at the destination areas for coping with and adapting to uncertainties in the new environment. These local-based associations in the new settlements have replaced the functions of kinship, market and the state in securing livelihoods for the smallholders. Findings on social networks using the case of seed sources information sharing attest to the fact that, farmers are less dependent on social relations in provision of crop varieties and livestock breeds and are highly dependent on market mechanism, an evidence of farmer’s exposure to variable market forces. However, they are continuously engaged in social learning process. The functioning of the regional system revealed a complementary relationship among the studied settlements especially during crisis times such as drought whereby upland farmers have economic, social, and ecological relationships with lowland farmers. Even though the study is limited to the local scope, it provides a basis for designing policies aimed at rural livelihood security improvement and informs and facilitates targeting of outside interventions such as food security programs which can be built on existing social networks and regional system.

Open Access Original Research Article

Comparative Profit Analysis of Rice Production Enterprise among Farmers in Anambra and Ebonyi States, Nigeria

H. U. Nwalieji

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/AJAEES/2016/22251

The study compared profitability of rice production enterprise among farmers in Anambra and Ebonyi States, Nigeria. The population of the study included all rice farmers in the two states. A multistage sampling technique in combination of purposive and simple random sampling techniques was used to select 160 rice farmers. Primary data through the use of validated interview schedule were used to collect data for the study. Data were analyzed using percentage, mean and gross margin (GM) analysis. Results of the finding showed that majority of rice farmers were within their middle, active and productive ages; and had very long years of rice farming experience. Farmers in Anambra State made gross margin (GM)/net profit of ₦ 59,105 and ₦ 55,355 from paddy sale using transplanting and broadcasting methods, respectively, while the benefit/cost ratio (BCR) per 0.5 ha of paddy production were 1.83 and 1.85 for transplanting and broadcasting methods, respectively. In Ebonyi State, farmers made net profit of ₦ 53,800 and ₦ 48,100 from transplanting and broadcasting methods in 0.5 ha, respectively, while the BCR per 0.5 ha of paddy production were 1.56 and 1.73 for transplanting and broadcasting methods, respectively. Therefore, overall rice production enterprises in the two states are profitable and lucrative ventures. Inadequate fund for start-off, difficulty in obtaining credit, inadequate improved processing and milling machinery, high cost of privately sold agro-input such as fertilizers, poor road network, difficulty in forming co-operative society, poor extension service visit to farmers, high cost of rice production among others were the serious constraints to rice production identified. The need to increase farmers’ access to credit in order to boost rice production and increase income was recommended. Also, both indigenous and foreign investors were highly encouraged to invest into rice production.

Open Access Original Research Article

Adaptation and Farm Income: Insights from the Savanna Region of Togo

Mikémina Pilo, Komlan Ametowoyo Adeve

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/AJAEES/2016/21364

Aims: The Savanes region of Togo is characterized by frequent droughts and floods which adversely affect farming, the primary source of livelihood for majority of households in the region. Given the rapidly changing climate, these adverse shocks are expected to become more pervasive. This situation seriously threatens the structural transformation of agriculture in the region. Adaptation adoption is therefore important for farm households to be able to withstand any future climatic shock.  However, it is doubtful whether farmers are able to identify practices and measures that constitute the appropriate response to climate as such adjustments are beyond their range of experience. Consequently, the aim of this study is to understand how adaptation strategies used by farm households in the Savanes region of Togo shape the impact of climate change on agricultural income.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted at the University of Kara in Togo between April and September 2015.

Methodology: We estimate an Endogenous switching Regression (ESR) model to account for the heterogeneity in the decision to adapt based on household survey data.

Results: Two main results come out of this study. First adaptation enhances farm income for the farm households that adapted. Second the decision not to adapt is rational for famers who did not adapt since they would have been 13.24 percent worse off in terms of farm income if they were to adapt. The policy message drawn from this study encourages adaptation policies which build on indigenous knowledge since farm household that did not adapt may be using some indigenous practices not recognized as adaptation strategies.

Open Access Original Research Article

Assessment of Agro-input Dealers’ Willingness to Invest in Legume Inoculants in Northern Ghana

Edward Martey, Benjamin D. K. Ahiabor, S. S. J. Buah, Francis Kusi

Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/AJAEES/2016/22760

In recent past, efforts in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) including Ghana have stressed on increasing legume productivity and associated benefits to rural livelihoods. However, technologies such as legume inoculants that enhance legume productivity are associated with constraints such as quality assurance and proper storage conditions. This study assessed agro-input dealers’ willingness to invest in legume inoculants using cross-sectional data of 200 agro-input dealers sampled across Guinea Savanna agro-ecology of Ghana. Investment decision is modeled as a two stage process using the Double Hurdle approach. The results indicate that different set of factors influence investment decision and intensity of investment separately. However, economically active household members, inoculants training, and agro-ecology influence both investment decisions. Capacity building of agro-input dealers on inoculants handling coupled with favourable policy environment in the Guinea Savanna agro-ecology will lead to an increase in the intensity of investment in legume inoculants.