Rice consumption requirement

Table of Content

Like most farmers in rural areas, lowland rice farmers are engaged in production for both self-consumption and market. To illustrate, as indicated above, about 42% of lowlands rice growers are producing rice for only self-consumption. That is to say that more than the half of lowlands rice producers (58%), included in this study, are somehow engaged in markets. On such, one of the key motivations for farmers’ participation in markets is when they produce sufficient marketable surplus after having satisfied their households’ rice consumption requirement (Thiombiano 1997, Tollens 2000). In order to estimate rice-producers’ ability to generate an agricultural surplus, we established a threshold of 20 kg/person/year above which farmers can generate a surplus that can be sold in the market (market participation index). In this study, about 80% of rice producers were able to produce at least 20 kg/person/year. The regression results, in Table 4, show a positive and significant sign of this variable, indicating that farmers who are able to produce at least 20 kg/person/year (household rice consumption needs) have a higher likelihood to sell their rice in the market. This result is in accordance with Achandi and Mujawamariya (2016) findings.

As predicted, the lack of outlets for this crop was expected to justified self-consumption of rice produced in lowlands. Indeed, the results show that lowland rice growers’ decision to participate in the output market is also affected by the existence of a market within the area. The positive value of the variable “Output market” reveals that farmers who have access to potential buyers of the output are less likely to consume their products. Indeed, in Dano area, Dreyer Foundation has made commitments to purchase rice produced in the lowland that they have improved. In this respect, rice producers in Dreyer’s improved lowland are working in an environment of greater certainty as they know in advance at what price their production will be sold. Consequently, farmers in this study may consume their production by default; this situation depicts the local market failure due to price instability and/or lack of outlets for output.

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The analysis of gender effect shows that farmers’ behaviours are not gender neutral. Indeed, the results indicate that male farmers have a higher chance of participating in the market than their female counterparts. To put it more simply, these results inform that female producers grow rice for self-consumption rather than for financial purposes. Interestingly, this situation revealed that women foremost incentive for rice cultivation in lowland is to satisfy the household demand for rice. Alternatively, Sigei et al, (2013) attribute Sub-Saharan African’s women low participation in market to the unequal distribution of resources, social and cultural barriers. As shown above, women’s only have access to improved lowlands. Conversely, Boniphace et al. (2014), analysing factors affecting smallholder rice farmers’ level of sales and market participation in Tanzania, found that female-headed households were more market-oriented. The absence of women in unimproved lowland is due to the fact that women’s access to land is hampered by sociological and cultural factors: traditions, customs, land tenure systems that favour men. The reason put forward, during groups’ discussions, was that the lowland is the property of the community, and hence cannot be given to strangers . Some institutions in charge of lowland development (such as Dreyer and PIGO) had tried to correct this inequality by imposing a given quota of plots for women / women’s groups, before taking any action. For instance, PIGO required at least 25% quota of plots for women.

As indicated above, most women produce rice to satisfy their households’ demands for rice. Such, improving women’s access, ownership, and control over land could potentially contribute significantly to household food security. Even if it is clear that increasing property rights and tenure security alone are often not sufficient to stimulate investment. The link between increased land tenure security and increased investment in agriculture is fairly well established in the literature (Maddison 2007, Deininger and Feder 2009). The results further highlight the importance of farmers’ groups and others social organisations in farmers’ decisions. Indeed, membership in groups and associations, usually used as a proxy of farmers’ social capital, provides numerous benefits to farmers, including information resources, reciprocal labour-hire arrangements, and consequently improve farmers’ decisions making (Yaméogo et al. 2018). Additionally, smallholder farmers could be exposed to high transaction costs when they have the opportunity to enter formal markets (Kherallah and Kirsten, 2001, cited in Ohen et al. 2013).

The positive relationship between lowland rice producers’ involvement in functional rice farmers’ groups indicates that farmers involved in such groups are more likely to favour the production of marketable surpluses over auto-consumption of rice. Similarly, the same relationships were pointed out by previous studies; in which farmers’ groups constitute platforms where members have the opportunity of sharing information (Katungi and Akankwasa 2010, Saysay 2016), learning from their peers’ experiences (Wambugu et al. 2010, Otieno et al. 2011) and can benefit from the collective investments made by their groups (Abdul-Hanan et al. 2014). Conversely, the negative effect of respondent membership in farmers’ groups /social organization revealed that farmers’ social capital may have a dark side and discourage their market participation. In summation, membership in farmers’ social organization may play a positive effect on their decision to sell their output in the market if such social organization is functional and solely oriented toward rice production. In order to probe the effectiveness of the development of the lowland by the projects with time, improved lowlands were separated into two types: young lowlands (less than 10 years of operation) and old lowlands (more than 10 years of operation). Half of the 10 improved lowlands selected have more than 10 years of operation, thus can be considered as old lowlands. The results indicate that farmers are less likely to produce rice when the improved lowlands become old. The most compelling evidence is that more the lowland gets older, the less likely it is operated efficiently.

This finding was confirmed by the statistics from the decentralized department of Agriculture (DPAHRH –Ioba). Among improved lowlands surveyed, about 74.7% of the surface area of old lowlands were exploited, while in young lowlands approximately 96.5% of the surface area was used; denoting a relative abandonment of old lowlands. According to extensions agents, this situation is much more due to the failure of lowland management comities (usually established after lowland improvement) and the mismanagement of the lowland working capital resulting in a lack of interest of lowlands users. In fact, after lowland improvement, the development projects and programs withdraw gradually in order to allow the local population to take ownership of the lowlands management. In this case, when a misuse or misappropriation (embezzlement) occurs, a serious lack of mutual trust between lowlands users and the leaders (e.g. Pontiéba, Sarba, and Gorgane) takes place; as results, activities regarding to the lowland maintenance are usually wrecked by some of the producers.

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