Pulses (common beans and cowpeas) provide a major alternative source of protein, and the rapid rise in food prices has led to an increase in the consumption of inexpensive pulses. The slow growth in pulse production has, however, led to a decline in availability. Thus, to overcome this decline in production, this study concern in expanding pulse production in Mozambique by using the agricultural research survey known as TIA. In addition, this study identified and analysed the critical drivers influencing production, as well as constraints and opportunities to expand pulse production in Mozambique.
In studying the participation of smallholder farmers in pulse markets, the Heckman two-step approach was applied to avoid sample selection bias. In the first step a Probit model was estimated to capture the household’s decision of whether or not to participate in the market. The second step comprised of an OLS estimation to determine the significance of variables that contribute to the level of pulse sold. At national level, results indicate that the majority of households receive price information, but few households receive information on fertilizers and improved seed use. Most households also have poor access to credit and improved extension services, and low levels of membership of agricultural associations. A very small percentage of household farmers are engaged in pulse production, with male farmers more dedicated to the production of common beans and female farmers more dedicated to the production of cowpeas.
In terms of market participation, the results reveal that female-headed households are less likely to participate in pulse markets. The critical factors that discourage entry into the pulse market are distance to the market and yield loss. The factors that give incentives to smallholders to participate in the pulse market are land size, price information and pulse price.
The trade volume of common beans is relatively high and is affected by land size, pulse price and price information. In contrast, the trade volume of cowpeas is highly affected by bicycle ownership and ownership of livestock for animal traction. Cowpea prices also have a positive effect on the volume of cowpeas sold. Yield loss is a major factor that negatively affects the pulse trade, while land size has a negative effect on the volume of cowpeas sold.
Land availability and price information provide good opportunities, in Mozambique, for expanding pulse production. The expansion of pulse production is however constrained by household access to public goods and services such as extension services, credit and membership to an agricultural association. Moreover, the expansion of pulse production in the country is also constrained by the absence of the use of productive technologies such as improved seed and fertilizer.
Based on the results of the study, the recommendations are to expand extension services, improve access to improved technology, facilitate access to agricultural finance, and improve infrastructure and storage facilities. This would facilitate and give incentive to smallholder to expanding pulse production in Mozambique.
Dissertation (MSc Agric)--University of Pretoria, 2014.