Smallholder Farmers and Farming Practices: Challenges and Prospects


Series: Agriculture Issues and Policies
BISAC: TEC003000

This book emanated from the research outputs of different authors whose diverse academic traditions and wide geographic spread play a major role in enriching its contents. The volume is mainly a compilation on smallholder farmers and their practices. The book also highlights the challenges, which small farmers frequently encounter, and the opportunities or prospects, which abound in their farming operations. Compartmentalized into three major sections, this 10-chapter volume provides an account of thought-provoking scenarios and narratives, which are rich and well suited for policy development and praxis. The book, therefore, compels policy-makers to see opportunities in every challenge associated with smallholder agriculture rather than see challenges in every opportunity therein. While some of the chapters present the results of field experimentations that highlight the impacts of certain geographic features and fertilizer use on root tuber cultivars’ production, some explore the effect of climate change on smallholder farming practices and how small farmers counteract the vagaries of weather conditions, which might impede their livelihoods.

Nonetheless, most of the chapters largely rely on sociological methodologies to identify pertinent issues affecting the smallholder agriculture. While some of the issues underscore the advocacy for organic farming and its associated benefits or opportunities, others emphasize the uniqueness of certain agro-ecological farming systems and the opportunities, which they might offer resource-poor, smallholder farmers. A number of the chapters specifically provide some historical perspectives on the political economy of smallholder agriculture and identify the motivating and demotivating factors influencing young farmers’ affection for farming while some accentuate the pertinent role of research in determining small farmers’ response to the adoption of improved biotechnology in achieving food security. Throughout the book, authors’ findings and viewpoints converge in many places on topical issues relating to environmental sustainability, mitigation of climate change, ethics of the agri-food systems and agricultural policy.
(Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents





Chapter 1. Cropping System, Tillage and Effects of Fertilizer Treatment on the Grain Yields of Sorghum and Green Grams in Makueni County, Kenya
(C. M. Githunguri, A. O. Esilaba, E. Thuranira, J. R. Okalebo, G. K. Mutai and E. N. Ndwiga, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Nairobi, Kenya)

Chapter 2. Environmental Double Whammy: Climate Change and Land Degradation in the Context of Ghanaian Smallholder Farmers
(Kenneth Peprah, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University for Development Studies, Wa Campus, Ghana)

Chapter 3. Organic Agriculture in the Tropics
(Oluwatoyin Dare Kolawole, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana, and others)

Chapter 4. On Green Economy: Exploring Green Economy-Oriented Agronomic Practices among Youth Farmers in Osun State, Nigeria
(Victor Ogbonnaya Okorie, PhD, Department of Political Studies and International Relations, North West University, South Africa)

Chapter 5. Food Security and Flood Recession Farming in the Okavango Delta, Botswana: Policies and Practices
(Oluwatoyin Dare Kolawole and Keotshephile Kashe, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana, and others)

Chapter 6. Dryland Crop Production in Botswana: Constraints and Opportunities for Smallholder Arable Farmers
(Keotshephile Kashe, Oluwatoyin Dare Kolawole, Thebeetsile Scott Moroke and Oarabile Mogobe, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana, and others)

Chapter 7. Cassava Production in a Semi-Arid Environment: The Case of Mutomo Sub-County in Kenya
(Cyrus Githunguri, Ruth Amata, Arnold Njaimwe and Elias Njiru, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya)

Chapter 8. Small Scale Horticultural Business: Challenges and (De) Motivating Factors of Young Farmers in Glen Valley Horticultural Farms of Botswana
(Nelson M. Tselaesele, Keneilwe T. Bob, Dixon O. Torimiro and Olusegun T. Adebo, Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Gaborone, Botswana, and others)

Chapter 9. Sustainability and Growth: Future Challenges for Agricultural Practices
(Tamara Álvarez-Lorente, Departament of Sociology, University of Granada, Spain)

Chapter 10. Smallholder Farming Practices: Synthesis, Critical Reflections and Policy Issues
(Oluwatoyin D. Kolawole, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun
Botswana, and others)



“Smallholder farmers are at the forefront of rural development, yet are poorly understood; too often seen as backward, in need of modernisation. Through detailed case studies, this book challenges these misunderstandings and presents a positive view of smallholder farmers as innovators, experimenters and entrepreneurs. Such farmers are not without challenges, however, and the book explores those of climate change, soil fertility decline, market access, land tenure security, among others through diverse case studies. For anyone interested in the future of smallholder agriculture, please read this book!” – Ian Scoones, Professor, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK, author of Sustainable Livelihoods and Rural Development (Practical Action, 2015)

“In response to the challenges of climate change and market uncertainties, Oluwatoyin Kolawole’s thought-provoking volume highlights multiple opportunities to support young farmers and revitalize rural economies. It is a welcome resource for academics, researchers, and policy makers alike to address the challenges of smallholder farming.” – Keith M. Moore, Center for International, Research, Education and Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, United States

“This book offers a deep and critical analysis of the uniquely diverse and daunting challenges faced by smallholder farmers under complexly dynamic environments and mostly resource-poor conditions while providing comprehensive insights into farmers’ coping mechanisms through well-thought and experience-based farming practices. Research outputs from diverse authors, who make use of multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary methodologies, help readers to gain full understanding of smallholder farmers’ practices and policy makers to make well-informed decisions in favor of sustainable smallholder agriculture development.” – E. Fallou Guèye, PhD (Agricultural Sciences), Intl. Project Coordinator, FAO Djibouti and IGAD

Academics, Researchers, Students, Universities, Agricultural Extension Agencies, FAO, Policy-makers, National Governments.

Smallholders, climate change, organic farming, agricultural policy, market infrastructure

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