A parking systems analysis of factors that affect area and induction of cotton: A case study in Shinyanga regeon, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


This study describes factors that affect area and production of cotton as part of the overall farming system for smallholders in Shinyanga Region, Tanzania.It involves as description of the characteristics of the existing farming systems and assessment of the production efficiency of the cotton producer. Based on farmer’s resources, priorities and production decision, plans to improve cotton production are studied simultaneously with the other crops in the systems and desirable improvements are suggested./ Primary data were collected from 50 randomly-selected farmers in the area for the 1976/77 and 1577/78 crop seasons.Direct programme planning was used to determine optimum resource allocation.Relations between specified variables were tested by means of Chi-square and correlation analyses. Two major types of farming systems were identified, namely (1) Larger farms with livestock which wore characterized by having more land in crops, slightly bigger families, use of ox-ploughs for land preparation, and much higher per capita income (Sh 710).These farms produced about twice the food they actually required for subsistence, and sold the surplus for cash, but had serious labour problems.(2) Smaller farms without livestock, characterized by less land in crops and use of hand hoes for land preparation.They produced 14 percent less protein and 4 percent less calories than required for subsistence based on PAO norms and had a very low per capita income (Sh 170).They made up over half of the farms. Based on these two types of farms, the study has developed feasible farming systems typical to the area which satisfy family food needs throughout the year and increase family incomes based on a more reasonable work schedule for each type and utilizing family labour only.They arc developed on the following assumptions!(1)Yields per ha of the common food items equal to 80 percent of those believed to be normal for the area so that the determined area for subsistence meets full family food needs in most years.(2) Family labour remaining after meeting subsistence requirements is used as required for optimum cash-crop combinations, (j) Net family incomes are calculated based on 1977/78 crop-year prices and 80 percent of yields as found for EIDHP. The crop which gives the highest net cash return per limiting-month man-day is considered since family labour in peak months is the limiting factor to increased production. For smaller farms without livestock, a cash crop combination of 0.8 ha of sorghum/groundnuts and 0.8 ha of late-planted cotton is suggested. This would give these farms a total net family income of Sh 1,590 or a per capita income of Sh 240, which is about one-third higher than present incomes. However, by hiring ox-ploughing services for lend preparation while school holidays for children staying at home were made to coincide with the critical work peak of weeding, fanners could improve their farming system by growing 1.9 ha of sorghum/groundnuts and 0.8 ha of late-planted cotton.This system would triple their net family income to Sh 3,120 or a per capita income of Sh 470. For larger farms with livestock, the optimum cash crop combina­tion includes 3.1 ha of sorghum/groundnuts intercrop, 0.8 ha of late- planted cotton, and 0.6 ha of paddy, from which these farms likely would realize a total net family income of Sh 5,630 or a per capita income of Sh 790. This is about 10 percent higher than present, excluding returns from livestock. It is concluded therefore that if the aim is to increase farmer’s income, the crop which gives the highest net cash return per limiting month man-day after meeting subsistence requirements, namely sorghum/groundnuts intercrop, should be encouraged. From the Government point of view, (a) school holiday schedules for children staying at home should be made to coincide with the critical work peak of weeding, and (b) an increase by 35 percent over prices used in the systems analyses for cotton, while keeping those of other crops and inputs unchanged, would make cotton more profitable and increase the cash benefit/cost ratio to 3:1 to warrant the risk and costs of using fertilizers and insecticides. If producer prices of other crops and inputs increase simultaneously with -those of cotton, farmers will always be tempted to grow the most profitable crop relative to cotton. Research on cotton improvement should be considered not only for specified cotton operations but in relation to all crops of the systems, given the resources on typical individual farm units.




parking systems, induction of cotton, cotton, production of cotton, farming system