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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X

Abstract

MKHONTO, L. P.  and  MUSUNDIRE, A.. Agricultural Production Inputs Support Programme As A Socioeconomic Development Strategy. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2019, vol.47, n.4, pp.46-58. ISSN 2413-3221.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2019/v47n4a525.

This paper presents the impact of the Agricultural Production Inputs Support Programme on crop yield, and reflects challenges and opportunities for improving agricultural production to ensure socio-economic development and sustainability. Policy-makers assume that farmers who receive subsidised agricultural inputs produce high yields, generate income to sustain production, and reduce poverty. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data from horticultural crop farmers who received agricultural production inputs from the provincial agricultural department during the 2014/15 season in Mopani District. Findings indicate no significant linear relationship between agricultural production inputs received and crop yield. In addition, there was no significant linear relationship between agricultural production practices and horticultural crop yield. However, the study observed that production practices such as soil testing for nutrient content, fertilisation, irrigation scheduling, use of hybrid seeds, and nursery propagated seedlings are critical for farmers to experience high crop yield. This highlights the importance and need to strengthen extension services to improve production practices. It is therefore concluded that provision of production inputs is a necessary strategy to ensure improved agricultural production. This study thus recommends a careful selection of recipients with skills to farm, sound farming experience, improved level of education, and capacity building of the farmers.

Keywords : Agricultural production inputs support programme; Crop yield; Production practices; Small-scale farmers.

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