Prospects for increasing household food security and income through increased crop productivity and diversification in low rainfall areas of Zimbabwe
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The data for this paper were obtained from surveys undertaken in Mutoko/Mudzi and Buhcra communal areas in 1987-88 and 1988-89 as part of the research on household food security in low rainfall areas of Zimbabwe. Current levels of crop production arc compared with the potential for Natural Regions III, IV and V. Production levels are based on current technologies that arc recommended by the extension and the research systems. The adoption of these technologies is assessed to identify constraints and potential for increased adoption. The performance of farmers is analysed to identify agronomic and socio-economic practices of farmers achieving higher output levels. The objective is to assess whether there is scope for other farmers to achieve such performance so as to increase household output and income. The profitability of current technologies is measured and a comparative economic analysis of alternative crops is undertaken to determine whether there is scope for farmers to improve household income by increasing production of more profitable crops.