Sylvester et al
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 4 (8), pp. 346-353, September 2014.
Manuscript Number: 070814296
Socio-economic Determinants of Commercialization of Smallholder Rabbit Production in Mt Darwin District of Zimbabwe
Deliwe Sylvester1, Clayton Mashapa2*, Lighton Dube3 and
1Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Africa University, P. O. Box 1320, Mutare, Zimbabwe.
2Caritas International, Zimbabwe, Roman Catholic Diocese of Mutare, Private Bag 877, Mutare, Zimbabwe.
3Faculty of Commerce and Law, Zimbabwe Open University, National Office, P. O Box MP 111,
Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.
*Corresponding Author’s Email: clayiemashapa @yahoo .co.uk
A study was conducted to analyze the socio-economic factors influencing commercialization of rabbit production in communal areas of Mt Darwin district of Zimbabwe. A study sample of 85 smallholder rabbit farmers was randomly selected across the study area. Data were collected by means of questionnaires and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results revealed that 81.2% of respondents had attained some form of education and 63.5% had more than 6 years of rabbit farming experience. It was also observed that access to agricultural extension services, rabbit producer price, agricultural education and experience in rabbit keeping significantly (P < 0.05) influenced commercialization of rabbit farming by the farmers. It was concluded that improved access to agricultural extension services by a farmer, good rabbit producer prices, level of agricultural training attained by a farmer and years of rabbit farming experience of a farmer ease farmer’s ability to adopt commercial rabbit production and hence a higher production level. It was recommended that Zimbabwe national government create an enabling environment that promotes adequate technology transfer to farmers. Also, an investment in agro-industries that deal with the value chain components of rabbitry could be embarked upon by the government in order to improve on value-addition by farmers which would in-turn lead to more favourable prices.
Keywords: commercialization, rabbitry, smallholder, farmer, socio-economic, analysis.
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