Agrekon - latest Issue
Volume 56, Issue 1, 2017
Source: Agrekon 56, pp 1 –12 (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03031853.2017.1284680More Less
The Internet of Things (IoT) has enhanced the value of agricultural supply chains and reduced traditional risks. However, new risks to the agricultural supply chain have emerged in the IoT era. The risks in the agricultural supply chain under IoT, including risks related to perception, network, and application layers, are summarised in this paper. The ordered weighted averaging operator is utilised to quantitatively evaluate and sort these risks. Subsequently, the supply chain risk diffusion convergence model is used to identify the quantitative indicators that can measure risk fluctuations in the agricultural supply chain according to the risk assessment results. Finally, measures for risk management are proposed according to the results derived through the quantitative model for the agricultural supply chain under IoT.
Evaluating the demand for meat in South Africa : an econometric estimation of short term demand elasticitiesSource: Agrekon 56, pp 13 –27 (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03031853.2017.1286249More Less
The study aims to improve understanding of meat demand in South Africa through the estimation of a Linear Approximation of an Almost Ideal Demand System (LA/AIDS) for the South African meat complex which includes beef, mutton, pork and poultry. As the most widely consumed animal protein, a special focus is placed on poultry, which is disaggregated into two separate product groups, namely IQF portions and other poultry products, providing an improved understanding of demand preferences among different poultry cuts. In light of the changes that have occurred in both global agricultural markets and the South African consumer environment over the past decade, the model is estimated based on monthly data from January 2008 to September 2014, yielding short run elasticities. Expenditure elasticity estimates for IQF portions, other poultry products, pork, mutton and beef were 1.17, 1.24, 0.44, 1.07 and 0.8 respectively and the compensated own-price elasticities were estimated as −0.61, −0.43, −0.72, −0.96 and −0.11 for IQF portions, other poultry products, pork, mutton and beef, respectively. Most of the estimated elasticities conformed to a priori expectations, with the exception of poultry expenditure elasticities, which were higher than expected and in line with luxury goods, rather than normal goods, as the most affordable source of protein. Within the lower income consumer groups, where poultry dominates meat consumption, it was argued that meat in itself is a luxury good, reflected in the elasticities of poultry as the most affordable entry point into the meat market.
Source: Agrekon 56, pp 28 –39 (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03031853.2017.1283243More Less
This study investigated the importance of linking social capital in agricultural development projects by analysing responses from 205 farmers involved in sweet potato, medicinal plants and African leafy vegetables enterprise development projects in South Africa. Results of the study indicated that linking social capital relationships in farming opened opportunities for farmers to receive implements, production inputs and training. Findings from the Binary logistic regression model revealed that elements of social capital, namely flow of resources, quality of information, cooperation, trustworthiness and inclusion in decisions are important predictors of enterprise success. Strategies of fostering linking social capital that were recommended in the study include gathering enough information which assist in setting achievable targets, formulating a strategy for resource procuring and delivering, and formulating a standardised system for verifying training material and other information media for simplicity. Sharing project vision information with beneficiaries and engaging them in decision making were also recommended.
What factors determine household food security among smallholder farmers? Insights from Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaSource: Agrekon 56, pp 40 –52 (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03031853.2017.1283240More Less
Food insecurity persists in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Guidelines are required to inform the formulation of programmes dealing with this challenge. Literature identifies various factors, such as agricultural skills, as key determinants of household food security. This study examines linkages between agricultural skills and household food security in farming households of the Tugela Ferry irrigation scheme in the Msinga Local Municipality. Data was collected from a random sample of 250 farming households by means of a structured questionnaire. A Tobit regression model was employed to examine the determinants of household food security. The study found that factors like household size, marital status, education level, gender, total livestock units, household income, farming experience, credit use and competence levels in fertiliser measurement have the potential to reduce household food insecurity. The study concludes that provision of agricultural skills may improve households’ food security and that interventions may improve smallholder farming productivity.
The dynamics of price adjustment and relationships in the formal and informal beef markets in NamibiaSource: Agrekon 56, pp 53 –66 (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03031853.2017.1283242More Less
Beef prices have increased significantly in Namibia in recent years. The main reason for the increase in beef producer prices is the high input cost and drought, leading to excessive culling of breeding herds among commercial farmers. Johansen multivariate test of co-integration and multivariate vector error correction model are used to investigate the price adjustment and the existence of long-run relationship among the beef prices at various stages of the value chain. The results show that the beef cattle prices are integrated and exhibit a long run relationship. Formal (for grade A) and informal (grade C) beef cattle prices suggest that they adjust to long-run equilibrium at different speeds. For instance, prices in the formal markets adjust to disequilibrium at about 81 per cent, while prices in informal markets adjust to disequilibrium at 63 per cent. Granger causality results indicates the log price of grade C beef cattle in the informal market does not cause Granger log price of grade A beef cattle in the formal market, log of wholesale beef price of grade A beef and log of export beef price of grade A unidirectional at the 1 per cent level of significance. The adjustment can be attributed to the objectives and the nature beef markets understudy, coupled to the lack of efficient price information linkages between formal and informal beef cattle markets.
Impact of drought tolerant maize adoption on maize productivity, sales and consumption in rural ZimbabweSource: Agrekon 56, pp 67 –81 (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03031853.2017.1283241More Less
Increased frequency of droughts (especially mid-season dry spells), higher than normal temperatures and altered patterns of precipitation and intensity are some of the extreme weather events evident in southern Africa. These extreme weather events present a threat to livelihoods and sustainability of agricultural production in the region. However, several climate-smart agricultural technologies (including drought-tolerant maize) believed to offer adaptation to climate variability in maize-based farming systems have been widely adopted. Moreover, empirical work on these technologies is limited. This paper demonstrates how by adopting drought-tolerant maize, a climate-smart agricultural technology impacts on the quantities of maize produced, sold and consumed in Zimbabwe. Using primary data on smallholder farmers collected in 2011 in Zimbabwe’s four districts, we employed propensity score matching techniques to construct a suitable comparison group and calculate the average treatment effect on the treated sample. We find that, the adoption of drought-tolerant maize (DTM) in rural Zimbabwe significantly enhances overall maize productivity and consequently the quantities set aside for sale and personal household consumption. Our study therefore suggests that, systematic expansion of climate-smart agricultural technologies such as adoption of drought-tolerant maize can significantly improve maize yields, sales and consumption in rural Zimbabwe. Our empirical results, robust to sensitivity checks, strongly point to the overall importance of DTM adoption in Zimbabwe. The findings from this paper also have very important implications for overall efforts on the promotion of climate-smart agriculture technologies in Africa and other developing countries.