The Contribution of Smallholder Beef Cattle Farming to Household Development in Chipinge Rural District, Zimbabwe
Keywords:Contribution,, Rural development, Poverty, Household Development, Smallholder, Beef Farming.
Smallholder beef farming is a critical tool for combating rural poverty. Several less developed countries have promoted smallholder beef farming with twin objectives to encourage rural development and sustainable rural livelihoods. This study was conducted in Chipinge South Rural District, Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe, with the aim of examining the extent to which smallholder beef farming contributes to rural household development. An assessment was made to ascertain the level of household development for the sampled respondents before and after the beef farming project intervention. An embedded mixed method approach, which combines qualitative and quantitative approaches, was used in the study. The research made use of key informant interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaires, observations and project reports in the collection of both quantitative and qualitative research data. A multi-stage sampling technique was adopted in the study and out of a total population of 1740 farm households in Chipinge South, a sample of 174 farm units was selected from all the six farmer groups registered and operating under the Chipinge Livestock Development Trust (CLDT). In addition, 30 key informants were conveniently sampled for interviews among members of the project management, extension staff, and farmer committee leaders. The results from the study showed that smallholder beef farming enhanced the economic status of the smallholders which translated into improved household assets, better education, adoption of new technology, capacity building and improved food security, among others. While the beef farming project yielded notable benefits to rural households in Chipinge South, the project’s ability to foster sustainable rural livelihoods in the long run was negatively affected by, among other factors, limited access to key livelihood capitals. The study recommends that the responsible authorities in Chipinge South Rural District urgently address the challenges threatening the sustainability of the project in order to promote long-term investment in the beef farming sector in the study area.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Jabulani Garwi
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