Multi–criteria livestock assessment for sustainability of smallholder farms in Kwa-Zulu Natal

Mahlobo, Busie Truetia (2016-03)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to evaluate the sustainability of smallholder livestock farmers in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The aims of the study was: (i) to evaluate social and economic sustainability, and (ii) to investigate production constraints experienced by smallholder farmers in Umvoti Municipality, KZN Province. A sample of 55 smallholder farmers were interviewed using structured questionnaires in their homestead. The survey was conducted in February and July (2015) for two weeks. Soil samples were collected on 17 farmers’ field plot using an auger at a depth of 45 cm from the top soil. The study revealed that livestock was kept for cultural purposes (78%), income (73%) and ceremonies (51%). Only 5% of the respondents had tertiary education, 35% primary and 29% secondary. The lack of education limits the extent to which knowledge can be transferred from researchers to farmers. Livestock ownership was male dominated (53%) and there was an association between gender and ownership. Youth participation was lacking because most of the respondents were old people with mean age group of 57. Livestock were grazed on communal rangelands (94%) and continuous grazing was employed. No breeding plan was in place and 85% used a communal owned bull. About 78% of the respondents did not practice supplementary feeding. Respondents stated that water and feed availability, theft, diseases, and finance are major production constraints that negatively affect their performance. A net loss value of R14 418 per annum was obtained for all households owning livestock. Communal crop producers had a positive net value of R310 per year. Commercial crop farmers obtained a positive net value of R688 800 per year after all deductions. Fixed income (pensions, wages, grants, home industry and gifts) collectively had the highest relative contribution of 55% to household livelihoods. As a result, the alternative hypothesis was accepted at 5% level that farmers employ mixed livelihood strategies to minimise risks against income and food deficits. An asset value was assigned and calculated for 111 calves, 304 cows, 61 heifers, 58 bulls, 19 steers, 206 kids, 336 does, 92 bucks and 34 wethers. Interest was calculated per household and per livestock type. Cattle accumulated the highest asset value (R3 517 821) than goats (R711 131). Statistically the study showed no evidence against the null hypothesis that crop inputs have different effects on potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and manganese (Mg), (p>0.05). Cropping patterns showed to have different effects on soil carbon percentage (p<0.05) and the null hypothesis was rejected. The veld condition was medium degradation with a condition score of 40–60%. Soil samples were analysed for textual group, pH, exchangeable cation (Na, K, Ca, & Mg), C%, N%, and base saturation (Na%, K%, Ca%, Mg% and T–value cmol/kg). Effects of crop inputs (manure, fertilizer, mixed inputs and none (control) and cropping patterns (mixed, mono cropping, rotational and combination) on soil minerals were also evaluated. The negative net value obtained from livestock and low profit from cropping, suggest that farmers are getting income somewhere else to subsidise farming.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie is uitgevoer om die volhoubaarheid van vee kleinboere in KwaZulu-Natal te evalueer. Die doelwitte van die studie was: (i) om sosiale en ekonomiese volhoubaarheid te evalueer, en (ii) om die produksie beperkinge wat ervaar word deur kleinboere in Umvoti Munisipaliteit, KZN provinsie te ondersoek. ‘n Groep van 55 kleinboere is ondervra deur gebruik te maak gestruktureerde vraelyste in hul tuiste. Die opname het plaasgevind in Februarie en Julie (2015) vir ‘n periode van twee weke onderskeidelik. Grondmonsters is ingesamel op die landbou grond van 17 boere deur gebruik te maak van 'n awegaar teen ‘n diepte van 45 cm op die bogrond. Die studie het getoon dat diere vir kulturele doeleindes (78%), inkomste (73%) en seremonies (51%) aangehou word. Slegs 5% van die respondente het tersiêre opleiding, 35% primêre en 29% sekondêre. Die gebrek aan opvoeding beperk die mate waarin kennis aan boere oorgedra kan word vanaf navorsers. Vee eienaarskap word deur mans oorheers (53%) en daar was 'n assosiasie tussen geslag en eienaarskap. Landbou deelname van die jeug ontbreek omdat die meeste van die respondente volwassenes was met gemiddelde ouderdomsgroep van 57 en meer. Vee was gewei op kommunale weiveld (94%) en voortdurende weiding was toegepas. Daar is geen teling plan in plek en 85% gebruik 'n kommunale bul vir teling. Ongeveer 78% van die respondente beoefen geen aanvullende voedingspraktyke vir hulle beeste nie. Produksie beperking behels, gebrek aan water en voer beskikbaarheid, diefstal, veesiektes, en finansies. ‘n Netto verlies waarde van R14 418 per jaar is behaal vir alle huishoudings wat vee besit. Opkomende gewas produsente het 'n positiewe netto waarde van R310 per jaar behaal. Kommersiële saaiboere het 'n positiewe netto waarde van R688 800 per jaar na alle aftrekkings. Vaste inkomste (pensioen, lone, toelaes, tuisnywerheid en gawes) het gesamentlik die hoogste relatiewe bydrae van 55% tot huishoudelike lewensbestaan. As gevolg hiervan, is die alternatiewe hipotese teen 5% vlak aanvaar dat boere ‘n gemengde lewensbestaan strategieë toepas om risiko's teen ‘n tekorte aan inkomste en kos te verminder. ‘n Batewaarde is opgedra en bereken vir 111 kalwers, 304 beeste, 61 verse, 58 bulle, 19 osse, 206 boklammers, 336 bokooie, 92 bokramme en 34 hamels. Rente is bereken per huishouding en per tipe vee. Beeste het die grootste bate waarde (R3 517 821) teenoor bokke (R711 131). Die studie het getoon dat daar geen bewyse teen die nulhipotese was dat gewasinsette verskillende effekte op kalium (K), kalsium (Ca) en mangaan (Mg) (p> 0.05) het. Gewas patrone toon verskillende effekte op grond koolstof persentasie (p <0.05) en die nulhipotese was verwerp. Die veld kondisie het 'n kondisiepunt van 40-60% wat indikasie is van medium degradasie. Grondmonsters is ontleed vir tekstuele groep, pH, uitruilbare katioon (Na, K, Ca, & Mg), C%, N%) en basisversadiging (Na%, K%, Ca%, Mg% en T-waarde cmol / kg). Effekte van gewasinsette (mis, kunsmis, gemengde insette en kontrole (geen) en die grond minerale in gewas patrone (gemengde, mono teelt, rotasie en kombinasie) was ook geëvalueer. Die negatiewe netto waarde verkry uit vee en die lae wins vanuit gewase produksie, is ‘n indikasie dat boere inkomste vir lewensbestaan iewers anders as slegs vanuit boerdery subsidieer.

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