In Southern Mali, small-scale farmers face multiple constraints such as low soil fertility that lead to low agricultural productivity and income. Crop-Livestock Integration System (CLIS) among small-scale farmers has been promoted by extension services to tackle these challenges in order to improve farmers’ livelihoods. Some small-scale farmers have embraced the integrated crop livestock production system and adopted innovations that have been promoted by extension services providers. However, little is known on the determinants of small-scale farmers’ decision to uptake these innovations. In addition, the enterprise combination which gives the highest returns to small-scale farmers in crop livestock integration systems is still unknown. This study aimed to fill out that knowledge gaps. The general objective of this study was to contribute towards optimal resource use in crop livestock integration systems for improved livelihood of small-scale cotton farmers in southern Mali. Specifically, it was to determine the socioeconomic and institutional characteristics of small-scale cotton farmers in Southern Mali; to determine the socioeconomic and institutional factors influencing small-scale cotton farmers’ uptake of innovation in CLIS; and to determine the enterprise combination that gives the high gross margin in CLIS. A multistage sampling procedure was used to obtain a sample size of 171 small-scale cotton farmers. Descriptive statistics, multivariate probit model, and linear programming model were used in data analysis. The key differences between small-scale cotton farmers’ socioeconomic and institutional characteristics were in years in formal education, market distance, agricultural asset value, extension distance, household size, number of cattle owned, and land size. Numbers of trainings, land size, age, years in formal education, market distance, extension distance and participation in off-farm activities were the main determinants of small-scale cotton farmers’ decision to adopt innovations in CLIS. Finally, small-scale cotton farmers are not efficiently used their resources. At present resource level, small-scale cotton farmers could optimally maximize their profit by 104.80%, 54.35%, 23.01%, and 19.52% increase compared to the actual total gross margin respectively. Therefore, this study recommends that there is need to reinforce the technical knowledge of lowly educated farmers through innovative agricultural training methods and techniques. Further, this study recommends that an effective advice of farmers on the efficient allocation of farm resources should be built into programs promoting increased agricultural productivity and income.

Background information 
Rural economy in Mali is based on agriculture sector, which accounted for 35% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008 (Staatz et al., 2011). This makes the agriculture sector, the engine of economic growth because of its dominance role in the economy (Beke, 2012). Despite of its dominant role, the agricultural sector in southern Mali and other agricultural zones remains dependent on natural conditions and faces the challenge of low productivity (Droy et al., 2012). 

Therefore, an increase in agricultural productivity becomes a necessity in order to move from the traditional agricultural production to one based on science and technology. Agriculture based on science involves the use of modern inputs such as improved seed, fertilizers, and other improved agronomic practices. Franzluebbers, (2007) indicates that crop livestock integration system (CLIS) is one of these practices, which have been the common approach to agriculture production all over the world before modern industrialization in the 20th century. It involves a diverse range of integrated ecological, biophysical, and socio economic conditions. Compared to the mono cropping farming system, CLIS reduces farm households’ dependency on chemical fertilizers in the face of changing of climate, economic and social conditions (FAO, 2009a). 

In recent years, practical innovations have created synergies between crops, livestock and agro-forestry production sectors in order to ensure economic and sustainability by providing ecosystem services (FAO, 2009b). According to the International Fund for Agriculture Development (2010), CLIS reduces soil erosion, strengthen environmental sustainability, increases crop yields and improves profits, thus helping in reduction of poverty and malnutrition. Regarding the economic and production sides, CLIS increases farm households’ livelihoods diversification through resource optimization and economic stresses reduction. 

Food and Agriculture Organization (2010) opines that CLIS raises social, economic, and environment sustainability and improves farm households’ livelihoods when efficiently managed. Thornton et al. (2001) argue that, over 50% of meat and 90% of milk in the world are provided by mixed crop-livestock system and is the most common form of livestock operation in developing countries. Furthermore, it is projected that CLIS is going to increase in Sub-Saharan African countries over the next thirty years as human population increases the demand of livestock products mainly meat and milk. According to Hosu and Mushunje (2013), this will give an opportunity for small-scale farmers to benefit from the growing market and raise their income thus contributing reduced poverty. In CLIS, the waste products of livestock serve as a resource for crop and vice-versa. Manure can be used to enhance crop production, while crop residues are used to feed animals and contribute to improve animal nutrition and productivity (Russelle et al., 2007). 

However, utilization of resources among small-scale farmers is viewed as single entity either in crop, water, or soil nutrient forms. Therefore, limited resource use in the farming system requires change in management practices in order to optimally allocate resources among small-scale farmers’ enterprises or activities facing to multiple constraints. An efficient management of natural resources is a best way of increasing productivity and farmers’ incomes by combining crop and livestock enterprises. 

In Mali, CLIS is an integral component in rural livelihood and in particular the southern Mali area, where cotton crop has a significant impact on socio economic development through many agricultural support programs (Droy et al., 2012). CLIS has been combined in various ways over time by agro-pastoral “farmer-herders” or “herder-farmers” rather than the exclusive concerns of specialised farmers or herders (Scoones et al., 2000). Indeed, towards the year 1970 agricultural development policies have promoted in Mali , a production system based on crop livestock integration by leaning on chemical fertilizers, veterinary products, animal traction, and crop fodders (Dugué et al., 2004). CLIS is expected to improve small- scale farmers’ agricultural productivity and instead of increasing crop yields only, it has expanded the arable lands per capita through animal draught power. 

The Malian Agricultural Development Policy aims to promote a modern, competitive, and sustainable agriculture through innovative agricultural techniques based on participative research (LOA, 2006). Agricultural innovations and crop-livestock integration system are in line with the Malian Agricultural Orientation Law “Loi d’Orientation Agricole – LOA” objectives of ensuring sustainable agriculture and innovation in CLIS is seen as one of the strategies to improve agricultural productivity and reduce poverty among small-scale farmers. 

In the 1980s, the Institute of Rural Economic (IER) and a public Malian cotton company of textile development (CMDT) developed several improved technologies about seed and animal breeding. In addition, the national policy of integrated management of soil fertility (2002) emphasized the use of local resources such as manure, compost, and natural phosphate to improve soil fertility. Vall et al. (2012), argued that CLIS has been promoted in southern Mali as in many West African countries which has led to a massive adoption of animal traction. Furthermore, Blanchard (2010) found out that the revenue from cotton is used to buy animals, where some small-scale farmers have constituted their own herd for multiple purposes (land ploughing, milk, meat, savings, manure, prestige). 

According to Bainville et al. (2007), crop livestock integration development in southern Mali is not only about the agricultural development policies but also innovation by farmers. Certain forms of CLIS practices were already known and practised in southern Mali through transhumance breeding which helps farmers to pen animals on their arable lands for the next rainfall season. Blanchard et al. (2013), state that the CLIS management must change in order to adapt and guarantee small-scale farmers’ viability in the face of changing climate, economic, and institutional conditions. 

Statement of the problem 
Cotton growing areas in southern Mali are facing challenges of low agricultural productivity as results of low soil fertility. Therefore, crop-livestock integration system is seen as an opportunity to tackle these challenges by improving soil fertility, increase agricultural productivity and contribute to increased small-scale cotton farmers’ incomes and efficient use of local inputs. Crop-livestock integration system is being promoted by extension providers. Some farmers have embraced the integrated crop livestock production system and the innovations in this crop-livestock integration system include: manual cotton topping, fodder crops, lime application, contour ridging. However, little is known on the role of socioeconomic and institutional factors in determining the uptake of these innovations. Further, the enterprise combination, which gives high returns to small-scale farmers in crop- livestock integration system, is still unknown. It is on the forgoing that this study is pitched to fill this knowledge gaps using a sample of farmers in southern Mali. 

General objective 
The general objective of this study was to contribute towards enhanced farm resource efficiency in crop livestock integration systems for improved livelihood of small-scale cotton farmers in Southern Mali. 

Specific objectives 
(i) To determine the socio economic and institutional characteristics of small-scale cotton farmers in Southern Mali. 
(ii) To determine the socioeconomic and institutional factors which influence small-scale cotton farmers’ uptake of innovation in crop-livestock integrated production systems in Southern Mali. 
(iii) To determine the enterprise combination that gives the high gross margin in crop livestock integrated production systems in Southern Mali. 

Research questions 
(i) What are the socio economic and institutional characteristics of small-scale cotton farmers in Southern Mali? 
(ii) What are the socioeconomic and institutional factors influencing small-scale cotton farmers’ uptake of innovation in crop livestock integrated production system in Southern Mali? 
(iii) What enterprise combination gives the high gross margin in crop livestock integrated production system in Southern Mali? 

Justification of the study 
In Southern Mali, a recent study has noted that cotton production system has shown its limits in terms of governance and cotton and cereal yields stagnation (Droy et al., 2012). In addition, Blanchard (2010) attributes the stagnating cotton and cereals yields to soil fertility depletion, non-availability of high potential land and increasing human population in rural areas. These facts combined with climate change, agricultural products price instability, increasing livestock and natural resources degradation have made it worse in small-scale farmers’ production systems (Soumaré et al., 2006; Coulibaly et al., 2009; Ickowicz et al., 2012). This generates competition for resources and faces the agricultural production system with multiple constraints that necessitate change in the interactions between different productive and limited resources. Therefore, optimal use of resources is the best way of allocating limited resources among small-scale farmers’ activities (Hosu and Mushunje, 2013). 

CLIS is in line with the objectives of Malian Agricultural Development Policy “Politique de Developpement Agricole – PDA” which aims to promote a modern, competitive, and sustainable agriculture based among small-scale farmers. CLIS is also in line with the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) objectives of encouraging sustainable agriculture and CLIS is one of the strategies to improve crop and livestock productivity and livelihood among small-scale farmers. 

Inspite of the policy measures undertaken by the government and its partners, small-scale farmers in cotton area are among the poorest in the country (Balié, 2012). Currently, a project called PASE2 (Project of improving the productivity and sustainability of production systems in southern Mali) is being implemented to improve small-scale farmers’ livelihood through participatory research. The innovations that are being promoted include; Manual Cotton Topping (MCT), Fodder Crops (FC), Lime Application (LA), and Contour Ridging (CR). Therefore, the study has provided empirical evidence in enhancing the uptake of innovations in CLIS among small-scale farmers in southern Mali. Findings from this study has contributed to help the policymaking process towards optimal use of resources and intensification of sustainable agriculture approaches in solving farmers’ challenges leading to improved livelihood among small-scale farmers. 

Scope and limitations of the study 
This study was carried out in four intervention villages of the project “PASE2” particular in Ziguéna, Beguéné, Nafégué and Kokélé in order to determine the adoption of innovations and the most profitable enterprise combination in CLIS. The study was limited to cotton growing region of Sikasso. The study focused on production constraints of CLIS with respect to the gross margin. This study relied on farmers’ recall as most of them do not keep records. However, thorough probing was done to assure the reliability of the data collected. 

Operational Definition of Terms 
Innovation: this refers to a new improved process or organizational method in practices. Rogers (1995) defines an innovation as an idea, practice, or object that is perceived new by an individual or other unit of adoption. In this study, these include Manual Cotton Topping (MCT), Fodder Crops (FC), Lime Application (LA), and Contour Ridging (CR). 

Small-scale cotton farmers: refers to farmers with limited resource endowment and are those farmers owning small-based plots of land (1.5 ha for man and 0.5 ha for woman in RGA 2004). Also, their production system is based on cotton growing and their work forces for crops and livestock are exclusively relying on family labour. 

Household: according to the Malian law of agricultural orientation (2006) “Loi d’Orientation Agricole” (LOA), an household is formed by one or more members united by kinship or customs and jointly use production factors insight of generating resources under the direction of one of the members designate head of household whether male or female and he/she represent the household in all acts of civil life. 

Resource optimization: involves designing a system or process, which favours an economic and efficient management of available resources. In other word it is the set of processes and methods to match the available resources. In this study, a farmer will optimize her/his available resources by allocating them to the activities or enterprises, which gives the most satisfactory profit (optimal profit) among all the possible alternative profit solutions. Livelihood: this comprises the capabilities, material, social resources and activities required for small-scale farmers to develop and implement strategies to ensure their survival.

For more Agricultural & Applied Economics Projects Click here
Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 79 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Search for your topic here

See full list of Project Topics under your Department Here!

Featured Post


A hypothesis is a description of a pattern in nature or an explanation about some real-world phenomenon that can be tested through observ...

Popular Posts