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Changes in the management environment and practices of small-scale farmers from 1994 to 2001

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dc.contributor.author MAPHALLA, LEFU TEFO
dc.date.accessioned 2018-07-05T11:58:20Z
dc.date.available 2018-07-05T11:58:20Z
dc.date.issued 2003
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/1396
dc.description Published Thesis en_US
dc.description.abstract The objective of the study was to analyse the changes that took place in the small-scale agricultural management environment (external and internal) from 1994 to 2001 in the Free State Province and to associate these changes with the management performance of the farmers within this same period. External management environment refers to economic, physical (natural), trade, technological, social and political environments, while internal management implies biographic characteristics of the farmer, as well as land, capital and personnel. Fifty small-scale farmers geographically located throughout the province in the three main farming categories, namely crop production, livestock production, and mixed farming, were randomly selected. Data were collected using a questionnaire containing closed as well as open-ended questions. Both the chi-square and t-tests were used to analyse the data. The study found that no significant changes took place in the external small-scale management environment, with the exception of the social environment (collaboration) where small-scale farmer collaboration with the commercial counterpart increased significantly (P<0.01) from 30% in 1994 to 76% in 2001. In the internal small-scale management environment, significant changes took place in the following areas: crop and livestock production, mechanisation, labour management, financial management, and marketing. Compared to 1994 there was a 24% (X2 P<0.01) improvement in the number of farmers claiming to “know” their soil potential in 2001. There was also a significant change in the number of farmers who always analyse their soil before planting (X2=4.750 with 1 df P<0.05). Another significant trend was with regard to pest control, with more farmers (P<0.05) controlling pests in 2001 than in 1994. With regard to livestock production, there was a significant improvement (X2 = 3886 with 1 df P<0.05) from 1994 to 2001 in the number of farmers following an immunisation programme. From 1994 to 2001 the number of farmers with tractors increased significantly (58% vs. 68% P<0.01). Again, there was a significant increase of 18% in implement ownership among farmers (X2 <0.01). In terms of labour management 17% more respondents signed service contracts with their employees (11% in 1994 vs. 28% in 2001). The change was significant (P<0.05). With regard to financial management there was a statistically significant improvement in the number of farmers keeping balance sheets in 2001 compared to 1994 (30% in 1994 vs. 54% in 2001). Fifty-four percent of farmers drew up enterprise budgets in 2001, compared to 46% in 1994 (P<0.05). More farmers (46%) compiled income statements in 2001 than in 1994 (32%) (P<0.05). This was also the case with cash-flow statements. In respect of marketing, there was a significant change in the area of market projections. A greater number of farmers (40%) performed market projections in 2001 than in 1994 (20%) (P<0.05). In general, the performance index of the farmers improved in 2001 in comparison to 1994. This could be attributed to, amongst other things, the use of experts in the case of financial matters. In the areas where no significant change took place it was apparent that the farmers had experienced problems, particularly where money was involved, for instance in the purchasing of production inputs like pesticides and medication. en_US
dc.format.extent 3 190 432 bytes, 1 file
dc.format.mimetype Application/PDF
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology, Free State en_US
dc.title Changes in the management environment and practices of small-scale farmers from 1994 to 2001 en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder Central University of Technology, Free State

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