Socioeconomic Impact Of South Kordofan Rural Development Programme On The Small Farmers

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This study was conducted to assess the socioeconomic impact of South Kordofan Rural Development Programme (SKRDP) on the small farmers. The programme is one of the IFAD’s rural development programmes in Sudan. It aimed at improving the living conditions of small farmers by raising productivity and income. For achieving its prescribed objectives, the programme focused on infrastructure development, training, extension services, agricultural inputs, equipment, credit scheme and building of community-based organizations. The study used accidental sample technique to select 160 respondents of small farmers from eight villages selected randomly from the villages which joined the programme at least for three years. A questionnaire, individual and group interviews, and observation were used for collecting primary data. The secondary data were gathered from reading materials, internet and other sources relevant to the topic under study. Different statistical analytical tools were employed for data analysis comprising frequency tables and percentages. Cross-tabulation, `7;- square test and Cramer’s (V) coefficient were used to test the hypotheses of the study. The data were analysed by the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results indicated that the standard of living was slightly improved for most of the respondents. The main problems that faced the delivery of the programme services were unavailability, insufficient amount and irregular distribution of these services. The respondents had great experience in voluntary work and their contribution to the programme activities consisted mainly of manpower. The `7; square test showed that the agricultural equipment were the important determinant of food crops productivity. Cash crops productivity was positively affected by the educational level, training, agricultural extension, inputs, equipment and finance. Farm size was positively affected by gender, educational level and productivity of food and cash crops. The important determinants of income were educational level, farm size, food and cash crops productivity. Income and participation in decision-making were important determinants of potable Water improvement. A positive relationship was found between health care and income improvement. Basic education was significantly associated with age, income, participation in decision-making and contribution to the programme activities. The farmers’ experience in voluntary work and their participation in decision-making enhanced their contribution to the programme activities. It was concluded that the programme had direct and indirect effects on improving the small farmers’ standard of living. The weak extension services, insufficient training and irrelevant microfinance policy resulted in low standard of living. The inadequate services of the programme resulted from the fund shortage which was largely caused by injecting additional social services component in the programme without committing additional fund and stakeholders’ weak response to keep their financial commitments. It is recommended that the stakeholders, especially the Sudan Government, be committed to meet their financial obligations in time to ensure continuous delivery of services. To develop relevant financial system with accessible modalities and adequate amount and time for economic production. To involve the participants as active stakeholders in the whole programme phases, regarding their indigenous knowledge and they should be well learned and trained to present their priorities. However, further exclusive studies are recommended to examine the participation challenges that hinder the programme sustainability and suggest the best solutions
Socioeconomic Impact Of South Kordofan Rural Development Programme On The Small Farmers