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dc.contributor.advisor Senyolo, M. P. Matli, Mankaba Matshidiso Whitney
dc.contributor.other Nhundu, K.
dc.contributor.other Belete, A. 2023-04-20T11:31:20Z 2023-04-20T11:31:20Z 2022
dc.description Thesis. (M. A. Agriculture (Agricultural Economics)) -- University of Limpopo, 2022 en_US
dc.description.abstract Food security, poverty and hunger issues, as well as methods of addressing remain a concern for many South Africans. Smallholder farmers' agricultural production is seen as the key to simultaneously alleviating poverty and ensuring food security, especially in rural areas. The sweet potato crop is commonly produced by smallholder farmers in rural areas as a staple in many South African households with the potential to reduce hunger and poverty. Nevertheless, just like other crops, the sweet potato is impaired by external factors such as extreme weather conditions, insects, pests and diseases, thus threatening food security. The most destructive pest to sweet potatoes acknowledged in the literature is the sweet potato weevil (SPW), which can cause between 5-100% in areas where it is not controlled. While there are many SPW control measures Entomopathogenic Nematodes (EPNs) are emerging as one of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) bio-control techniques that have shown promise in controlling SPW infestations in South Africa and globally. This study conducts a socio-economic analysis of smallholder sweet potato production and analyses the acceptability of EPNs as bio-control measures against the SPW in the Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces of South Africa. This was done through an assessment of farmers‘ knowledge, attitudes, perception and practices (KAPP analysis), exploration of the acceptability of EPNs by farmers, determination of and factors influencing profitability and technical efficiency. Primary data was collected from 119 respondents who were selected through non-probability sampling techniques; purposive, census, and snowball. The analytical tools used to analyse the data were descriptive statistics, Gross Margin Analysis, Multiple linear regression model, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and the Tobit regression model. From the results, an average knowledge score of 2.30 based on a 3–point Likert scale revealed that sweet potato farmers are knowledgeable of the SPW, the impacts and the control measures. Despite this level of knowledge, the farmers were impartial about the attitudes and perceptions regarding the SPW and the control measures. This was based on the findings of a 5-point Likert scale, which yielded average scores of 2.53 and 2.74, respectively. The study also revealed that the majority of the farmers prefer the use of indigenous and physical practices to control SPW. With regards to acceptance of the EPNs bio-control innovation towards control of the SPW, a mean Composite Index of Acceptancy (CIA) of 0.77 revealed the willingness of farmers to accept the EPNs as a bio-control measure. A Gross margin of R9 552.37 indicates that sweet potato farming is generally profitable, and this is influenced by socio-economic factors such as marital status, employment status, sweet potato output per cycle and access to machinery. On the other hand, while sweet potato farming was found to be profitable, the DEA score of 0.09 reveals that these farmers are technically inefficient. Their technical inefficiency is influenced by sweet potato output per cycle, gross margins, farm size, and access to credit, employment status, and chemical use. Based on these findings, the study recommends farmers‘ support through capacity development initiatives for the sweet potato farmers with regards to general economics of sweet potato production and marketing to maximise and sustain their revenue generation, as well as their general efficiency. In addition, increased training and awareness of the EPNs and their benefits as bio-control measures towards SPW infestation will work towards changing farmers‘ mindset with regard to SPW control measures. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Social Innovation (DSI) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) en_US
dc.format.extent xii, 138 leaves [1] unnumbered en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.relation.requires PDF en_US
dc.subject Sweet potato en_US
dc.subject Nematodes en_US
dc.subject Socio-economic en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Nematode diseases of plants en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Food security en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Pest -- Biological control en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Sweet potatoes -- Diseases and pests en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Sweet potatoes -- Breeding en_US
dc.title Socio-economic analysis of smallholders sweet potato production and acceptability of entomopathogenic nematodes as a bio-control of sweet potato weevil in South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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