Understanding Socio-Economic Challenges Facing A2 Out-Grower Sugarcane Farmers in Zimbabwe: Case of Lowveld Area in Masvingo Province
Keywords:A2 farmers, Efficiency, Gross margin, Profitability, Sugarcane production
Production of sugarcane in the out grower farming community has been decreasing and remained well below the expected standards. This study sought to investigate the reasons contributing to decline in sugarcane production of out grower farmers in the Lowveld area of Zimbabwe. The specific objectives of the study were to identify the socio-economic factors affecting sugarcane production, to measure technical efficiency of the sugarcane farmers and to measure the costs and returns of sugarcane (profitability). A sample of farmers 100 was randomly selected and was interviewed with a structured questionnaire. Results from the study revealed that farm size, credit access, farming experience, age and extension contacts significantly affected sugar cane yield. The mean technical efficiency of the farmers was 0.69. 36% of the farmers have technical efficiency ranging from 0.7 to 0.75. Farmers selected for the study have average annual revenue of $ 5,652.5 ha-1, variable costs of $ 5,320 ha-1 giving them an average gross profit of $ 332.5 ha-1. The research concluded that the farmers are technically efficient. It is recommended that, farmers should be linked to more extension agents and also to form cooperatives.
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