An Analysis Of The Changes In Crop Production Practice Of Peasant Farmers Under Increasing Population The Case Of Hitosa Wereda In Arsi Zone

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The general objective of the study is to evaluate the condition of crop productionrnpractices of peasant farmers under the situation of rapid growth of population and limitedrnland resources. Therefore it assesses the agricultural resources, patterns of rural land uses andrncropping, the uses of modern crop production technologies and the farming systems of thernpeasants and the changes observed. Emphasis is, however, given to the impact of populationrngrowth on the land use, farming system, need to the use of modern inputs and agriculturalrnproductivity in the study area.rnThe primary data needed in the study were acquired from field survey usingrnquestionnaire and interviews. The secondary data were obtained from base maps, and fromrnthe documents of government and non-government offices. To analyse the data statisticalrnmeasures such as the mean, median, percentile, standard deviation, coefficient of variation, Frnand t-tests and test for ANOV A, the indices of crop concentration Crop combination andrncrop specialization, simple and multiple correlationlr~ression, models are used.rnThe findings revealed that change in land use types in the last twenty years consideredrnin response to the population growth. The cultivated lands showed an expansion rate ofrnl.S%/yr at the expense of the grazing and other land uses. Average size ofland holding wasrngenerally found to be small and decreasing (27,7% of the sample households reported havingrnless than one hectare). The family labour is the basis of all farm activities. The animal labourrnused are mainly the oxen for cultivation & threshing and the donkeys for transport purposes.rnHowever, a few ofthe peasants use tractors and combiners to supplement the animal labour.rnCrop rotation method and the chemical fertilizers are widely used to replenish soil fertility.rnBecause most of the peasant farmers are aware of the benefits they get from the use ofrnmodern farm inputs, their need to the use of tractors, combiners, chemical fertilizers, selectedrnseeds, pesticides and weed killer chemicals have grown significantly in the area. Therncropping pattern was found to be dominated by the area of the cereal crops and showed anrnincreasing dominance. In the change of the cropping pattern, the areal share of wheatrnincreased while of the other crops decreased except of the sorghum which remainedrnunchanged for the last two decades. The mean production amount of a householdrndecreased by about 7.6% whereas the mean production amount that a HH obtained from onernhectare offarm increased by about 29.7% as observed from 1977178 to 1997/98.Generally as it is disclosed by the study, the land holding sizes and land use patterns,rnthe uses of human and animal labour, the uses of modern farm inputs, the patterns ofrncropping, and land and labour productivities showed changes within the study area.rnThe simple correlation results for the changes in the areas of all land use types and ofrncultivated lands are identified to have strong and positive relations to the changes in thernnumber of rural population. In contrast, the change in the area of grazing lands is identified tornhave negative relation to population growth.rnThe analyses of variance computed for the significances of expected variations in thernuse of modern farm machinery and inputs within the study area confirmed that the variationsrnin the use of chemical fertilizers and tractors to be statistically significant while of thernselected seeds and combiners are not.rnThe results of the simple correlation analyses identified positive and strongrninterdependence between land productivity and the four selected variables (the use ofrnchemical fertilizers, selected seeds, tractors and combiners). The regression analysis furtherrnrevealed that these four variables emerged as significant predictors. On the other hand, thernresults of simple correlation analyses of labour productivity and use of these modern inputsrnemerged as strong but negatively associated. It is worth mentioning that the four independentrnvariables considered have contributed 99.7% and 91.5% to the respective total variances ofrnland and labour productivities which leave 0.3% and 4.5% ofthe variances to be explained byrnother variables which have not been considered in the study. Hence, further research tornidentifY the more significant variables amongst those which have not been considered isrnadvisable.rnOn the basis of the overall evaluation some recommendations have been presented.rnThe major ones are the need to restructure the farming system in general and to optimallyrnplan the land use by making balance to the various uses according to the priority of therndemand in particular; to assist the farmers improve the use of traditional and archaic farmrntools; to initiate and support the peasants for the use of modern farm inputs and productionrntechnology; to study the feasible ways that help to improve the farmers' access to the use ofrnthe modern farm inputs; to introduce the animal feed that can be produced by the peasants; tornimprove infrastructural facilities; to attract capital investment into the area; to develop agroindustry,rnirrigation schemes; to integrate agriculture with other income generatingrnoccupational activities; and to strictly observe the national population policy (the familyrnplanning aspect in particular) and educate the people so as to realize balance betweenrnpopulation and resources of the area.

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An Analysis Of The Changes In Crop Production Practice Of Peasant Farmers Under Increasing Population The Case Of Hitosa Wereda In Arsi Zone

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