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Title: Evaluation of the impact of backyard gardens on household incomes in Southern District, Botswana
Authors: Taboka, Opa Kealeboga
Keywords: Backyard gardens -- Household incomes
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Botswana is classified as an upper middle income country and despite having attained such economic growth, the country still faces socio-economic challenges such as poverty. The current poverty rate is 20.7% while rural poverty is 24.7% which is relatively higher for an upper middle income country. In order to address this problem, the government introduced the Poverty Eradication Programme. This study therefore, sought to assess the income, expenditure and consumption dimensions of households that have benefited from backyard gardens which form part of the Poverty Eradication Programme in Southern district of Botswana. The study areas were three sub-districts of Southern district, Botswana whereby cross-sectional data was used to evaluate the effects of backyard gardens on household incomes. The objectives were to: characterize households with and without backyard gardens: evaluate the factors that influenced the gross margin of backyard gardens, and evaluate the impact of backyard gardens on rural household consumption expenditure. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of the backyard gardens program. Multi-stage sampling technique was employed to acquire proportionate sample of 247 respondents. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics, gross margin analysis, regression analysis and propensity score matching. Results showed that gardens were a viable activity as gardens had positive gross margins. Gross margins were affected by a number of factors including fertilizer application, market availability and area planted. Even though, backyard gardens were viable they are affected by a various production and marketing constraints and the major constraints were pests and diseases, lack of water, lack of market and poor prices. Propensity score matching revealed that average consumption expenditure of backyard garden program beneficiaries was P934.02 which was 8.07 % higher than that of non-beneficiaries (P841.34) of the backyard gardens indicating that backyard garden program has improved the livelihoods of rural households. Thus, the government can invest more on the program as one of the extreme poverty reduction tools and encourage beneficiaries to put more effort into making the gardens successful. This could be possible if the program leaders could develop policies aimed at enhancing productivity of backyard gardens through provision of workshops and seminars whereby beneficiaries would acquire more training on vegetable production. Therefore, it can be concluded that backyard garden program plays a crucial role in improving the living standards of Batswana.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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