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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

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

Abstract

MAHASHI, M.; MGWALI, N. N.  and  OBI, A.. Assessing Socio-economic Factors Influencing Wool Production In Kolomana Villages Of Eastern Cape, South Africa. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2019, vol.47, n.4, pp.59-74. ISSN 2413-3221.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2019/v47n4a526.

Despite considerable investment by government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to support wool production amongst farmers in parts of the Eastern Cape Province, the subsector continues to feature low production and productivity while the small-scale farmers continue to wallow in poverty. There is therefore genuine interest to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons for this situation and identify elements for a strategy to remedy the situation. This study looks specifically at socio-economic constraints/ factors affecting wool production in the rural Kolomana area. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information on demographic parameters and socio-economic factors affecting wool production in Kolomana villages of the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. Descriptive statistics were generated using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, version 20). Observed major infrastructural constraints to sheep farmers in Kolomana were shortage of shearing sheds, dip tanks, fences and re-fencing of camps and technical resources such as availability of animal health technicians. A linear regression model was used to test how independent variables relate or affect the dependent variables, which were defined in value and quantitative terms. Age of the household head, marital status of household head, number of sheep owned by households, division of rangeland into camps, state of fencing on rangeland, visits by animal health technicians, and availability of colostrum to lambs were found to be influential. Without doubt, removing constraints faced by rural wool sheep farmers and implementing correct managerial practices when necessary could improve efficiency in wool production for the rural poor. Thus, the study seeks to acknowledge different practices that rural farmers employ in sheep production, which includes but is not limited to indigenous knowledge used to enhance maximum wool production.

Keywords : Linear regression model; Rural wool farmers; Smallholders; Socio-economic factors; wool production.

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