Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: An economic analysis of smallholder cashew development opportunities and linkages to food security in Mozambique’s northern province of Nampula
Authors: Mole, Paulo Nicua
Keywords: Culturas de exportação em Moçambique
Tecnologias de cajú
Pequenos produtores
Segurança alimentar
Issue Date: 2-Jan-2000
Publisher: Michigan University
Abstract: Cashew is among the leading export crops in Mozambique. However, very little is known about the costs and returns to cashew production for the millions of smallholders who produce it and depend upon it as a source of income and food security. In addition, there is a cashew productivity decline at the farm level that cannot continue to be ignored. This study gathered detailed input/output data through multiple visits to 40 smallholder cashew households in three different regions of Nampula, currently the most cashew producing province of Mozambique. Additional data was drawn from secondary sources to construct crop budgets which fed into a smallholder linear programing model to examine strategies to improve cashew productivity and management practices in a context of a whole-farm system. The findings highlight a number of issues. First, smallholders as a group who grow cashew need to be subdivided into more homogeneous target groups: 1) those who have a relatively small number of cashew trees, have less land in total and on a per hectare labor adult equivalent basis, but who are relatively labor abundant; and 2) in contrast, there is another group who seem to own relatively larger land holdings, have relatively more trees, but lack labor (or resources) to engage in more labor intensive and profitable cashew technologies. Second, high tree density and relatively small amounts of labor allocated to cashew (and not all at the right time of the growing cycle) seemed to be critical factors associated with low cashew productivity. The conflict between the use of labor for cashew tree management and disease control, and for activities needed on food crops suggests that the lack of reliability of rural food markets, cash earning opportunities, and the low economic incentives for cashew producers are forcing farmers to set priority on food cropping activities, thereby shifting labor for cashew activities to later in the agricultural season. Third, the relative profitability of marketable food crops and the importance of food security concerns have an impact on smallholder choices. Results indicate that labor constrained farmers required much higher incentives for the adoption of more integrated approaches to cashew improvement than less labor constrained farmers. Finally, profitability and efficiency of improved technologies and management practices could increase, if farmers were able to identify better and with less risk, which of their existing trees should get a given technology package. Specific research in this regard will help farmers to reduce the risk of investing in uneconomic trees or in an incorrect technology package. It is concluded that improved technologies and management practices examined have a potential to raise on-farm cashew productivity. However, this needs to be accompanied by a stronger institutional and market reform investment program to improve incentives to cashew growers, and make investments in rural infrastructure, research and extension services in order to bring about the expected increases in cashew productivity to raise smallholder income, improve food security conditions and reduce poverty.
Appears in Collections:Teses de Doutoramento - BCE

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
2000 - Mole, Paulo Nicua.pdf7.29 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.