Factors influencing the productivity of groundnuts among smallholder farmers in Zambia's Eastern province
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Groundnut is one of the dominant crops in Zambia that enable most of smallholder farmers earn both food and income. Despite the overall importance of the crop amongst smallholder farmers in the country; its productivity countrywide is often hampered by a number of limitations. The objective of this study was to determine the factors that affect the productivity of groundnuts in order to provide more information on groundnut productivity by providing a more comprehensive understanding of the causes of the difference between actual and expected groundnut yields. This study used secondary data from the 2012 Rural Agricultural Livelihoods Survey which was collected by Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute and Central Statistical Office to carry out both descriptive and muhiple regression analysis. 1323 household that grow groundnuts in Chipata were analyzed in this study. STATA was used to analyze the data. The comparison of the average actual yield with the average expected yield revealed that the actual groundnut yield (502kg/ha) is a lot less than the average expected yield (1500kg/ha). The results of regression analysis revealed that the groundnut yield in Eastern province is significantly affected by: number of household members (p= 0.043); educational attainment of household head (p=0.014); the number of complete weedings (p=0.042); field type (monocropped or mixed) (p=0.074) and groundnut variety planted (hybrid or local) (p=0.030). All these factors were found to be positively related to yield. In order to increase the current groundnut yields and considering that the number of weedings during groundnut production and the variety of seed used affect groundnut productivity, the study recommends the need for governments and players in the private sector to put in place mechanisms for smallholder farmers to access and use good quality seed and support agricultural extension to be more efficient and effective in transferring the recommended improved technologies particularly weed control products as well as other recommended crop management practices.
The University of Zambia
- Agriculture