Opportunities for increasing household incomes through gardening: a case of Seke communal area
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Risk from climatic variability is a major limiting factor to agricultural production in Zimbabwe. Vegetable gardening has an important role in agricultural and economic development of Zimbabwe. Vegetable gardening has the potential to reduce the effects of prolonged dry spells, recurrent droughts and an early end to the rain season. The evidence of increasing unreliability of dry-land agriculture, and increasing popularity in gardening has prompted this research to look at the contributions of gardens to incomes of communal households. A sample of 100 communal households was used for the study. The first objective of the study was to determine the relationship between intensity of gardening and the wealth status of the households. The Principal component analysis, descriptive statistics, and correlation coefficient were used to answer the research question. The results revealed that there was no significant relationship between the wealth status and gardening intensity of a household. However, in the sampled community the contribution of garden income to the total household income was around 18%. The gross margin analysis was used to test the viability of the gardens and results showed that gardening is viable. Log-linear regression was used to determine the factors that affect profitability in the gardens. The age of the household head and the size of garden under crops affected profitability among households among other factors. Linear programming was used to test if increasing the size of the garden had an effect on the incomes of households hence welfare. Results show that increasing garden sizes had the potential of increasing incomes although there was a challenge of labour in the area interviewed. From the study it can be recommended that promotion of gardens can go a long way in increasing incomes and improving food security status of households hence their welfare.
gross margin analysis