Factors Affecting the Productivity and Profitability of Vegetables Production in Swaziland
Vegetables are not only beneficial for their contribution to the share of agriculture in the economy of Swaziland, but also have a significant probability to compete where there are fewer government regulations and restrictions in the economy. Currently, the local demand for vegetables is higher than local production and hence the gap is filled by imports from South Africa. At the NAMBoard’s fresh produce market, only 11 percent of the vegetables are from local production and the rest come from South Africa. The study aimed to identify factors affecting productivity and profitability of vegetable production. A two-stage sampling technique was used to collect data from 100 vegetable farmers. Descriptive and inferential statistics were employed for data analysis. The results showed that the factors that significantly affected productivity of vegetable farmers were access to credit, selling price, fertiliser quantity, distance to market and gender of the farmer. For example, the selling price of carrot had a positive relationship with the productivity of vegetable farmers, suggesting that when the selling price of carrot increase by one unit, all else equal, the quantity of carrot produced would increase by 0.417 kilogrammes. The determinants of profitability of vegetable production were level of education, land under vegetable production and type of marketing agency. For example, with an additional year of education, profit would increase by E0.304. Policy makers should come up with policies that would improve productivity of vegetable farmers through the provision of seminars and workshops where farmers would acquire more training on vegetable production. This should enable them to increase the average yield of vegetables produced per hectare, hence profitability.
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