PR - MANAGEMENT PRACTICES THAT AFFECT TECHNICAL EFFICIENCY AND COPING STRATEGIES OF SMALLHOLDER MAIZE IRRIGATION FARMER IN ZIMBABWE
The main objectives of this study were to find and interpret common factors of respondents’ compliance with best management practices that affect the farmers` technical efficiency and coping strategies adopted by the smallholder maize irrigation farmers at Tokwane-Ngundu of Zimbabwe. Primary data were gathered using a questionnaire and factor analysis was done to explore the farmers` degree of compliance with best management practices. The factor analysis revealed that the farmers` compliance with best management practices fell into three categories of farming diligence, crop densities and water management. Labour shortages were the biggest maize production risk faced by the farmers who resorted to forming mutual aid groups to offset the risk. The policy implication of this study is the introduction and promotion of risk management measures as well as the putting in place of regulatory frameworks to support market based initiatives such as crop insurance schemes could be steps in the right direction in reinforcing the farmers` coping strategies against maize production risks.
Keywords: Best management practice; efficiency, smallholder farmers; coping strategies, factor analysis