An economic analysis of the small-scale coffee-banana holdings in Moshi Rural. District, Tanzania.

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University of Nairobi


This study was undertaken with the major objectives of assessing resource availability and resource use by small-scale farmers in Moshi rural district of lanzania, with the view to identifying the critical constraints leading to low farm incomes in the area. In this respect, an attempt was made to find out whether the available resources could be re-allocated between- alternative uses in order to maximize total farm gross margins. A sample of 46 farms were surveyed from four villages in the district. The data were summarized and agregated to form a representative farm model for the area The empirical analysis of the input-output data included gross margin calculations of the important farm enterprises, and linear programming analysis, under the existing and improved technologies. The results of the survey showed that land was the most scarce resource. Farmers were also lacking important inputs and tools for most of their crop and livestock activities. The results of the fidndings in the empirical analysis, as well as experience, indicates that under the existing technology, farmers in the district were efficiently utilizing the available farm resources and that there was little potential for increasing farm incomes through re-organization of the current farms set—up. However, under mixed and improved technology farmers could greatly improve their farm incomes through greater intensity in use, improved methods of production, and raising productivity per unit area or animal. Under all the improved and mixed technology optimal farm plans, excess labour supply was revealed to be available in most months of the year on the farms. It was therefore, concluded and recommended that government in conjunction with other agricultural development institutions should strive to improve the quality and quantity of the extension staff. These institutions should also review the present heavy export-tax on coffee in order to make the crop more profitable to farmers. Research priority should be given to investigations on the coffee-banana inter-relationships as practiced by the small-scale farmers in the district. If farmers were to adopt the mixed and improved technologies optimal farm plans, the findings of the empirical analysis indicates that such optimal plans would generate excess labour supply on the small-holder farms which implicitly could profitably be employed through establishment of off—farm activities such as small scale indust ./es in the villages.




Economic analysis, Small-scale farmers, Coffee-banana holdings, Low farm incomes, Moshi rural district, Tanzania