A budget analysis of different soil fertility treatments for conventional and organic vegetable farming on a smallholding in South Africa

Sithole, Philemon Gwinyai (2018-03)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : The threat of food insecurity due to overpopulation led to the development of green revolution (GR) technologies in the mid 1900’s. The principles and technology became popular due to their efficiency and form key components of conventional agricultural practices. In the 21st century the same threats are faced predominantly due to overpopulation, resource limitation and growing middle classes of developing nations. This time around the technologies developed during the green revolution have been queried as a result of their negative side-effects on the environment, societies and economies. Thus organic agricultural principles have been proposed as an alternative to conventional agriculture to sustainably uphold food security at present. Organic agricultural practices and philosophies aim toward a more systemic approach in farm management. The use of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) and synthetically produced agrochemicals is prohibited from use in organic production systems. The market for organic produce is growing globally; mostly in North America and Europe; African and South African markets in particular are growing less quickly. Due to the higher premiums earned from organic produce, as well as lower input costs it can potentially be a source of extra profit from smallholders. The dossier of information and technological developments for organic agriculture are miniscule when compared to those for conventional agriculture. Developments for use in organic agriculture needs to be technically efficient and financially feasibility at production level. In this way the economic sustainability as part of overall sustainability can be evaluated. Through gross marginal analyses, this study made use of enterprise and partial budgets to compare the relative profitability of using organic fertilizers as opposed to using conventional fertilizer in a small scale vegetable production system near Raithby, Western Cape Province. The data source for the budgets was a technical field study which quantified the biophysical responses in broccoli and green beans to the respective organic and inorganic treatments applied to each crop. It was found that for both crops grown, the conventional approach had the highest and most positive gross margin when no premiums were present (ZAR 180 583 for green beans and ZAR 246 482 for broccoli). It was also found that the profitability of growing broccoli organically could be improved by using 20% and 40% premium scenarios. The same observation was made for organically treated green beans. Adding premiums to the selling price of organic green beans for one of the treatments made it more profitable than farming the beans conventionally.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die gevaar van voedsel sekuriteit as gevolg van oorbevolking het gelei tot die groen revolusie tegnologie in die middel 1990’s. Die beginsels en tegnologie wen gewildheid weens die doeltreffendheid daarvan en word sleutel komponente van konvensionele landbou praktyke. In die 21ste eeu word dieselfde gevare ervaar, hoofsaaklik weens oorbevolking, hulpbron beperktheid en die groeiende middelklas in ontwikkelende lande. Tans word die tegnologie wat tydens die groen revolusie ontwikkel is bevraagteken weens die negatiewe impak daarvan op die omgewing, gemeenskappe en ekonomieë. Daarom is organiese boerdery voorgestel as ʼn alternatief vir konvensionele landbou om voedsel sekerheid volhoubaar te ondersteun. Organiese landboupraktyke en filosofie mik na ʼn meer sistemiese benadering tot boerdery bestuur. Die gebruik van geneties gemodifiseerde organismes en sinteties geproduseerde misstowwe is ontoelaatbaar in organiese produksie stelsels. Die mark vir organies geproduseerde voedsel groei globaal, maar meestal in Noord Amerika en Europa, Afrika en veral Suid Afrika se mark groei stadiger. Danksy die hoe premies ontvang op organies geproduseerde voedsel, asook die laer insetkoste, kan organies geproduseerde voedsel ʼn winsgewende bron van produksie vir kleinboere wees. Die inligtingsdossier en tegnologiese ontwikkeling van organies geproduseerde voedsel is gering, gemeet aan die van konvensionele landbou. Ontwikkeling vir gebruik in organiese produksie moet tegnies doeltreffend en finansieel haalbaar wees vir implementering op produksievlak. Op die manier kan die ekonomiese volhoubaarheid as deel van volhoubare landbou evalueer word. Deur middel van bruto marge ontleding is vertakkingsbegrotings en gedeeltelike begrotings aangewend om die relatiewe winsgewendheid van organiese bemesting teenoor konvensionele misstowwe op kleinskaalse boerdery naby Raithby, in die Wes-Kaap Provinsie. Die bron van data vir die begrotings is tegniese proewe wat die biofisiese reaksies van broccoli en groenbone ten opsigte van verskille bemesting behandelings. Vir beide gewasse het die konvensionele bemestingsbenadering die hoogste bruto marge gelewer waar geen premie aanvaar is vir organies produseerde groente (R 180 583 vir groen bone en R 246 482 vir broccoli). Die winsgewendheid van broccoli word bevoordeel met premies van 20% en 40% onderskeidelik. Dieselfde geld vir groenbone. Die premie op groenbone wys ook hoër bruto-marge as vir konvensioneel geproduseerde bone.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103514
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