The livelihood impact of the smallholder

To date, the trust, together with collaborating institutions, has developed and made available to farmers numerous cultivars of several crops. According to the Bosomtwe District Assembly Profile [ 27 ], climate change is increasingly having a negative impact on agriculture through changes in the onset of rains, shifts in peak rainfall months in the major and minor agricultural seasons, droughts, and variations in temperature and flooding with direct impact on crops and rendering traditional agricultural production practices ineffective. In another development, the Biotechnology Trust provided farmers with veterinary kits and training in their use, thereby enabling the farmers to diagnose livestock diseases. In Marange, the Manicaland Development Association implemented a very successful water-harvesting project called the Nyachityu Project. The trust implements eight projects on mushroom production, indigenous fruits, drought-tolerant and disease-free maize production, disease-free sweet potato production, biological nitrogen fixation, livestock feed, goat and pig production, and molecular disease diagnosis. Inefficient institutional policies and processes could amplify shocks and stresses at the local level [ 5 ]. Using a cross-sectional survey, smallholder farmers were sampled from 12 communities using a multistage sampling procedure. However, this has not received much research attention.

An assessment of the livelihood impacts of oil palm development, including sources of conflict, is needed to shed light on the apparent contradiction between these reports and the evident enthusiasm of farmers to join the oil palm craze thereby informing future expansion. Amidst such eventualities, opportunities for livelihood diversification become critical in determining community and household ability to cope with climate related stresses and shocks [ 5 ].

Among other factors, political problems and misconceptions within the groups resulted in minimum efforts being put into joint plots, despite thriving enterprises on subdivided individual plots.

Programme identification and implementation were both based on very top-down approaches: planning was carried out in offices on the assumption that expatriate "experts" understood the local people's problems.

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In Africa, some livelihood alternatives that farmers resort to include seasonal migration of livestock keepers and distribution of livestock herds in different places; rainwater harvesting; doing casual labour to be able to get food and other household needs; selling of livestock; engagement in small businesses including shops, local restaurants, and kiosks [ 11 ].

An extension worker in Gutu District was voted the National Extension Worker of the Year and was runner-up for the same award the following season.

It was revealed that the number of active family members and the income from off-farm income generating activities were the socio-economic factors which contributed largely to discriminate borrowers and non-borrowers. To date, the trust, together with collaborating institutions, has developed and made available to farmers numerous cultivars of several crops. While most farmers have sought alternative livelihood options, there have been some exceptions to this trend among African farmers. This project is multi-faceted and includes natural resource conservation. Conflicts between communities and companies have resulted almost entirely from lack of transparency, the absence of free, prior, and informed consent and unequal benefit sharing, and have been exacerbated by the absence of clear land rights. In Gokwe South District, the Dairy Development Programme project has witnessed increased milk productivity, while maintaining costs at a minimum owing to the introduction of home-based rations that utilize crushed maize, sunflower cake and a vitamin-mineral mix. Another success story is an International Liaison Committee on Food Crops Production project, which established several irrigation systems in Wedza District. We assessed the impact of oil palm development on the economic wellbeing of rural farmers in Indonesia.

Thus there is always something positive about a project. In Gokwe South District, the Dairy Development Programme project has witnessed increased milk productivity, while maintaining costs at a minimum owing to the introduction of home-based rations that utilize crushed maize, sunflower cake and a vitamin-mineral mix.

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Diverse cultural systems, socioeconomic conditions, and environmental exposures make household's sources of income vulnerable over time [ 3 ]. The need to strengthen livelihoods has been recognised as being very necessary in climate change and climate variability mitigation and adaptation efforts [ 5 ].

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The main instruments for data collection were two structured questionnaires. These strategies and outcomes depend on the stress and shock encountered and the vulnerability context [ 24 ].

In the midst of climate variability and climate change, farmers' households and indeed the district's food security seem threatened. We will now look at other themes and will report on them as the programme evolves. Oil palm expansion in Indonesia is set to continue. Some livelihood assets such as agricultural production knowledge and tools become redundant, influencing sustainable livelihood strategies— ways of combining and using livelihood assets [ 4 ]. To date, the trust, together with collaborating institutions, has developed and made available to farmers numerous cultivars of several crops. This paper ascertained the alternative livelihood options of smallholder farmers against climate variability and change in the Bosomtwe District. Thus there is always something positive about a project. Moreover, the results show that there was a significant difference in the use of type of labour and modern agricultural inputs especially for dairy cattle keepers between borrowers and non-borrowers implying that credit influenced the use of modern inputs.

The project was a success both in Chivi District itself and, in terms of ripple effects, in Chimedza and Mukaro Wards of Gutu District and various areas of Zaka District.

However, some schemes have ground to a halt as a result of minor technical problems that community groups could have solved.

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Experiences of improving smallholder farmers' livelihoods