HARDT, TERRY LEE; PHD
IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, 1981
EDUCATION, AGRICULTURAL (0517)
The economic development of Africa is a major challenge in the modern world.
agricultural society suffers from food shortages, basic commodity scarcities, and the lack of services.
Ninety percent of the population lives on farms. Therefore, agriculture is still the key factor for economic
development in most of Africa. This research examines areas affecting the design and implementation of
agricultural development programs. Specifically, objectives of the study were: (1) To describe the system
of agricultural production within which small farmer household units live and work in northern Shaba,
Zaire. (2) To examine the decision making roles within the small farmer households of northern Shaba,
Zaire. (3) To determine the extent of adoption of an improved maize variety in northern Shaba, Zaire, and
determine characteristics which allow classification of the sample into adopter and nonadopter groups.
The research was conducted in Kongoy, Shaba, Zaire. One hundred households registered as farming
at least one hectare were randomly selected from census data. Data were collected from 255 adult
members during February and March, 1980. A case study of small farmers in the northern portion of
Shaba province was presented. Examination of the subsistence farming system and production patterns
revealed the complex physical and biological conditions the farmer deals with. Division of labor and
perception of major constraints to production were investigated. Decision making roles were examined.
Agronomic decisions are, for the most part, made by the head of the household. However, decisions
dealing with how agricultural produce is disposed of are made by the women of the household. There
was no difference in these roles between those families headed by females and those with male heads.
There is little evidence that decision making is delegated along male/female lines, but rather is the
responsibility of the household head--be it male or female. The adoption of an agricultural innovation was
analyzed. The decision to adopt an improved variety maize was generally made by the head of the
household. Discriminant analysis was used to identify the characteristics used to classify the sample into
adopter and nonadopter categories. The cases in the sample were classified into adopter and
nonadopter groups with an 85 percent accuracy by using the unstandardized function coefficients in the
equation derived through discriminant analysis.
Social Systems Simulation Group
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