Environmentally-oriented Economic Analysis of the Rain-fed Agricultural Sector in North Upper Nile State Sudan

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Mohamed, Kamal Abdel Galil Zein Eldin
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This study was conducted at Renk county Upper Nile State during 2007\08 seasons with the aim of environmentally oriented economically analyze the rain-fed agricultural production sector, investigate farmers' technical efficiency and determine optimum cropping pattern. The study depended on both primary and secondary data. Primary data were collected by means of multi-stage stratified random sampling techniques of 150 farmers through questionnaire. The secondary data were collected from different relevant sources. Varieties of analytical techniques were applied to reach to the stated objectives: change in productivity approach, gross margin analysis, descriptive statistic, stochastic frontier production function and linear programming (LP). Results of the change in productivity approach and gross margin analysis indicated that, the productivity of all crops, particularly sorghum, were deteriorating over time due to mono-cropping, non-application of both recommended technical packages and shelter-belt. Accordingly, many farmers forced to abandon their land to be covered by sands which leads to soil degradation. Likewise, poor productivity negatively affected framers technical efficiency and cropping patterns. Results also revealed that, sesame in mechanized sector and groundnut in traditional sector had the highest cost of production. Sorghum in the mechanized sector and groundnut in the traditional sector were the leading crops in terms of a substantial and encouraging profit. The mean production technical efficiency analysis revealed that there is scope for increasing all crops produced in the study area by different degree of percentage, although sorghum in mechanized and groundnut in traditional sector were the most efficiently produced crops. The analysis of determinants of technical efficiency indicated that sowing date, weeding number, rain fall distribution, seeds rate, harvesting cost and off farm income were the most important factors determining production technical xvi efficiency. The main occupation, level of education, agriculture credit, extension service and family size had significant effects on frames technical inefficiency of crops production. The results of optimal solution of the linear programming (LP) models in mechanized sector indicated the present of a highly significant profit compared with the current situation as the majority of the land was allocated for sorghum where as it indicated the present of a reasonable profit in traditional sector as most of the land was allocated for groundnut and sorghum. It also showed that, labor and capital were the most limiting factors of crop production in the study area. The study recommended enacting the law of allocating 10-20% of the agricultural land in the rain – fed sector to forest cultivation, establishment of a well equipped agricultural extension program, adoption of recommended technical packages, adoption of water harvesting techniques and providing credit and production inputs at the right time and place in order to improve farmers livelihoods and the sustainability of the environmental development.
Environmentally-oriented ,Economic Analysis, Rain-fed ,Agricultural Sector,North Upper Nile State, Sudan