Assessment of the Small Holder Market creation Project.:b case study of Kabwe District

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Nkumbwa, Penelope
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University of Zambia
This research report presents an assessment of the performance of the beneficiaries of the Smallholder Market Creation (SMC) Project after the conclusion of the implementation stage. The SMC project was implemented by the International Development Enterprise, Zambia office, from June 2003 to 2005. An evaluation of the project performance in December 2005 revealed that the project had achieved its objectives, some of which were increased incomes for the farmers and food self sufficiency. However, there was need to determine whether the beneficiaries still continued to reap the benefits of the project even after IDE had pulled out. This study, therefore, intended to assess the performance of the individual farmers after the end of the implementation stage of the project. Several indicators such as types of crops grown using irrigation, size of irrigated land, constraints being faced by the farmers, organization of the farmers in the running of the project and the profitability realized from the irrigation ventures of the farmers were all used to determine the performance of the farmers. The study was conducted in Chibombo, Chankumba and Mukobeko areas of Kabwe District in Central Province, Zambia. Primary data was collected by the use of administering a structured questionnaire to 22 out o the 35 beneficiaries of the project in the area. Secondary data to be used for comparisons of gross margins was obtained fi-om the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. The data obtained was analyzed using SPSS and MS Excel. The findings of the study indicated that the crops grown using irrigation were tomatoes, cabbage, impwa, rape, cotton, onion, pumpkin leaves, and green pepper. The main source of the water was the well. Water supply for irrigation purposes was adequate. For instance in 2005, 54.5% of the respondents said they had water all year round and 40.9% of the respondents also said they had water for over 6 months of that year. This scenario is similar to 2006, with 72.7 % of the beneficiaries experiencing no water shortage the entire growing season. The gross margins computed for the four selected crops and 8 farmers averaged between 65 and 90%. This indicates that the activities of the farmers were profitable. The major problems or constraints that were faced by the farmers were spares for the pumps, inadequate supply of labor and lack of access to adequate fertilizer. Key recommendations from the study are that a mechanism must be developed whereby spare parts are made available to the intended farmers, so that the efficiency of the pumps is not adversely affected. Similar fixture projects should also ensure that committee members are trained in order for them to be able to comprehend the new technologies acquired, so that they can transfer it to other farmers.
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Agriculture--Economic Aspects-- , Farm--Mechanization