The effect of agricultural service provision on performance of smallholder farmers in Zambia

Mwefyeni, Ephraim Chali (2014-12)

Thesis (MDF)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


Zambia, a country in Sub Saharan Africa, is home to over 13 million people. Of this population, 61 percent are found in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood, making the sector a key area for the development of the country. Agriculture remains a key sector because of its huge potential and the number of people that are dependent on it. However, smallholder farmers face many challenges, which include inadequate market and price information, inability to access credit, inadequate extension services, low input supply and low usage of hybrid seed amongst others. Given this situation, the study undertook to use quantitative research methods to determine the effect of agricultural services on smallholder performance in Zambia. It also focused on determining whether the sources of agricultural services affect performance. The results of the study reported that sources of fertilizers, maize seed and loans had a significant influence on yield of maize achieved by farmers. Access and utilisation of fertilizer, seed and maize price information had also shown that there was a relationship between these variables and yield produced. With these results, it is imperative to understand and manage the level of government involvement in the provision of agricultural services so that private sector participation is not discouraged.

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