Water Footprint Accounting Along the Wheat-Bread Value Chain: Implications for Sustainable and Productive Water Use Benc...Published: 31 August 2018 by MDPI in Water
Efficient and wise management of freshwater resources in South Africa has become critical because of the alarming freshwater scarceness. The situation requires a thorough examination of how water is utilized across various departments that use water. This paper reports on an examination of the water footprint and economic water productivities of the wheat-bread value chain. The assessment methodology of the Water Footprint Network was employed. The findings reveal that 954.07 m3 and 1026.07 m3 of water are utilized in the production of a ton of wheat flour in Bainsvlei and Clovelly in South Africa. The average water footprint for wheat bread was 954.53 m3 per ton in Bainsvlei and 1026.53 m3 per ton in Clovelly. More than 99% of the water is used in producing the grain at the farm level. The processing stage of the value chain uses less than 1% of the total water footprint. About 80% of all the water utilised along the wheat bread value chain is attributed to blue water. The findings revealed a significant shift from green water consumption to higher blue water use, and this is a major concern for water users and stakeholders along the wheat-bread value chain, given that blue water is becoming scarce in South Africa. The groundwater contributes about 34% and 42% of the average total water footprint of wheat at the farm level in Clovelly and Bainsvlei, respectively, suggesting the need to have an idea of the contribution of groundwater in water footprint evaluation and water management decision of farmers. This insight will aid in minimizing irrigation water use and pressure on groundwater resources. A total of ZAR 4.27 is obtained for every m3 of water utilized along the wheat-bread value chain. Water footprint assessment has moved away from sole indicator assessment, as a deeper awareness of and insight into the productive use of water at different stages has become vital for policy. To make a correct judgment and to assess the efficient and wise use of water, there is a need for catchment- or region-specific water footprint benchmarks, given that water footprint estimates and economic water productivities vary from one geographical area to another.
Approximately 75 per cent of South Africa’s beef is finished by feedlots. The profitability of the beef industry remains under pressure due to various external factors. Previous research has shown that many factors influence feedlot performance and profitability. It is, however, very difficult to judge an animal’s inherit feedlot performance before it enters the feedlot. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between the animal traits of Santa Gertrudis bulls and the feedlot profitability of these bulls. Analysed traits included the sheath score, capacity score and build score as high scores for these traits are believed to be associated with better feedlot performance. The data for this study was collected from 48 Santa Gertrudis bull calves. The profitability of feeding cattle was expressed as the Total Margin (TM) and Feed Margin (FM). Given the nature of the dependant variables, Ordinary Least Squared regressions were used for the analyses with TM and FM as dependent variables. Results show that although both models were significant, the sheath score was the only individual trait that proved to be significantly correlated with both TM and FM. Sheath score proved to be negatively correlated with TM and FM while it was expected, through popular belief, to be positively correlated. This implies that animals with lower sheath scores, thus with sheaths closer to their bodies, perform better in the feedlot and may affect the TM and FM positively. The magnitude of this trait still remains under question and further research is required.
Economic Water Productivities Along the Dairy Value Chain in South Africa: Implications for Sustainable and Economically...Published: 01 April 2017 by Elsevier BV in Ecological Economics
The global water scarcity situation is a major issue of concern to sustainable development and requires detailed assessment of water footprints and water productivities in all sectors of the economy. This paper has analysed economic water productivities along the dairy value chain in South Africa. The findings reveal that the value added to milk and water as it moves along the value chain varies from stage to stage; with the highest value being attained at the processing level, followed by the retail and farm gate levels, respectively. Milk production in South Africa is economically efficient in terms of water use. Feed production accounts for about 98.02% of the total water footprint of milk with 3.3% protein and 4% fat. Feed production is economically efficient in terms of cost and water use. Value addition to milk and economic productivity of water are influenced by packaging design. Not all economically water productive feed products are significant contributors to milk yield. Future ecological footprint assessments should take into account the value added to output products and economic water productivities along the products' value chain, rather than relying only on water footprint estimates.
Impact of agricultural extension service on adoption of chemical fertilizer: Implications for rice productivity and deve...Published: 01 December 2016 by Elsevier BV in NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Water Footprint of Milk Produced and Processed in South Africa: Implications for Policy-Makers and Stakeholders along th...Published: 29 July 2016 by MDPI in Water
The current water scarcity situation in South Africa is a threat to sustainable development. The present paper has assessed the water footprint of milk produced and processed in South Africa using the procedures outlined in the water footprint assessment manual. The results show that 1352 m3 of water is required to produce one tonne of milk with 4% fat and 3.3% protein in South Africa. The water used in producing feed for lactating cows alone accounts for 86.35% of the total water footprint of milk. The water footprint of feed ration for lactating cows is about 85% higher than that of non-lactating cows. Green water footprint accounts for more than 86% of the total water footprint of feed ration for lactating cows. Green and blue water footprints are the highest contributors to the total water footprint milk production in South Africa. Water used for feed production for both lactating and non-lactating cows accounts for about 99% of the total water footprint of milk production in South Africa. Particular attention should be given to feed crops with low water footprints and high contribution to dry matter to provide balanced ration with low water footprint. Water users, managers and livestock producers should pay attention to green and blue water consumption activities along the milk value chain and design strategies to minimize them. Corn, sorghum and lucerne production under irrigation in the greater Orange River basin is sustainable, whereas oats production for silage in the same catchment area is not sustainable. Our findings provide the rationale for dairy producers and water users in the dairy industry to get an understanding of the degree of sustainability of their input and output combinations, production choices, and policy interventions, in terms of water use.
Farmers use credit from commercial credit providers to finance production activities. Commercial credit providers have to predict the financial sustainability of the enterprise to ensure that the borrower will have the ability to repay the loan. A Delphi study was conducted to explore what factors are used as indicators of loan-repayment ability of farmers. The objective was not only to identify factors that are currently considered, but also to identify other personal attributes that may improve the accuracy in predicting the repayment ability of potential borrowers. The Delphi was applied to a panel consisting of nine credit analysts and credit managers from a commercial credit provider in South Africa. The results indicate that the current and past financial performance, account standing, collateral, and credit record of the farm are very important in the assessment of applications in terms of financial performance. Experience and the success factors compared to competitors were found to be important, while age and education/qualification are regarded as less important in predicting repayment ability. The results also show that, although not currently objectively included in credit evaluations, credit analysis regards leadership and human relations; commitment and confidence; internal locus of control; self-efficacy; calculated risk taking; need for achievement; and opportunity seeking as important indicators of the ability of potential borrows to repay their loans. Thus, credit analysts and managers also regard management abilities and entrepreneurial characteristics of potential borrowers to be good indicators of repayment ability. Results from this research provide new indicator factors that can be used to extend existing credit evaluation instruments in order to more accurately predict repayment ability.
The Global Water Footprint Standard approach was used to calculate the volumetric blue and green water footprint indicator for lucerne production as important feed for dairy cows in a major lucerne production region in South Africa. The degree of sustainability of water use then was assessed by comparing water use to water availability for the region. The results show a volumetric water footprint indicator of 378 m³/tonne of lucerne. Of the total blue and green water footprint, 55% is green water footprint and 45% is blue water footprint. Thus, albeit in a major irrigation area of South Africa, the largest component of the total water requirement is met by effective rainfall. The assessment of sustainability of water use showed that the period when lucerne requires irrigation water furthermore corresponds to the period where the water scarcity index is smaller than 100%. The water footprint thus is considered sustainable from an environmental perspective. This research proves the benefit of using context specific data to assess the water footprint of a crop, and the importance of a sustainability assessment in a water footprint assessment to generate information useful for informing water users and managers towards sustainable freshwater use.
Consumer preferences and willingness to pay for beef food safety assurance labels in the Kumasi Metropolis and Sunyani M...Published: 01 December 2014 by Elsevier BV in Food Control
The objective of this paper was to quantify the levels of social capital of emerging raisin producers from Eksteenskuil, and to explore the relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers and their social capital levels. The respondents prove to have high levels of social capital. Interestingly, they tend to trust and get along with each other more than they actively participate in organised group activities in the community. Their social capital thus can be said to be more cognitive than structural. Higher levels of social capital were also found to be associated with higher age, experience and education levels of the respondents. Ultimately it was concluded that the complexity of social capital makes it difficult to implement initiatives that will contribute to developing the social capital levels of these farmers. Efforts to stimulate collective action and farmer-to-farmer skills transfer should take cognisance of the role of social dynamics in the behaviour of emerging farmers.
This paper investigates the water use and marketing behaviour of smallholder cabbage producers from the Zanyokwe Irrigation Scheme in South Africa to identify the behaviour associated with the highest financial returns to water allocated to smallholder farmers to decrease rural poverty. The blue water footprint for cabbages was estimated; the value of the water was then calculated as the gross margin and value added per cubic metre of water at the respective stages along the value chain. The analyses show that the attributes of the products have a major influence on the degree of access to the highest value market alternatives, and hence on the ability of smallholder farmers to generate the highest possible return from the water they receive for agricultural purposes.
Despite the existing vertically coordinated (specifications contracting) relationship between the raisin producers from Eksteenskuil and their buyer, the farmers still face relatively high transaction costs. High transaction costs may cause the farmers to lose their share in the highly profitable fair-trade market for raisins and consequently decrease the contribution of raisin production to the livelihoods of the farmers from Eksteenskuil. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether a higher degree of vertical coordination will be more appropriate to economise the transaction costs faced by the farmers in order to allow them to continue benefitting from the fair-trade initiative. Based on the application of the frameworks of Mahoney (1992) and Peterson et al. (2001), a higher degree of vertical coordination in the form of a relation-based strategic alliance will be more appropriate than specifications contracting. The complementarity between the farmers and their buyer, created by the fair- trade initiative, contribute to the viability of a more vertically coordinated strategy. Similar incentives for private sector-buyers to procure from emerging farmers may create a similar degree of complementarity, and hence an incentive for such buyers to enter into vertically coordinated relationships with emerging farmers.
The aim of this paper is to extend existing research that analyses technical and allocative efficiency and its determinants by quantifying and comparing the potential financial gains from improving technical and allocative (cost) efficiency levels of emerging raisin producers from Eksteenskuil in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Results show that, at whole farm level, the average financial gains in margin above variable costs from improving technical and cost efficiency amount to R21 335 and R21 581, respectively. Importantly, the gains represent potential increases of 246% and 249%, respectively, in margins above variable costs. Improving the levels of efficiency with which the farmers use their inputs thus may contribute substantially to increase the contribution of raisin production to the livelihoods of raisin farmers from Eksteenskuil. The close comparison of the potential gains suggests that the current emphasis of extension services on maximising output levels should be extended to also promote the use of inputs in cost minimising combinations. Farmer-to-farmer skills transfer has a major role to play in supporting the farmers to use their inputs in a technically efficient manner. Extension officers and other support services should pay more attention to developing the skills of the farmers to be able to select the least cost combination of inputs.
Factors affecting forward pricing behaviour: implications of alternative regression model specificationsPublished: 03 December 2010 by AOSIS in South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences
Price risk associated with maize production became a reason for concern in South Africa only after the deregulation of the agricultural commodities markets in the mid-1990s, when farmers became responsible for marketing their own crops. Although farmers can use, inter alia, the cash forward contracting and/or the derivatives market to manage price risk, few farmers actually participate in forward pricing. A similar reluctance to use forward pricing methods is also found internationally. A number of different model specifications have been used in previous research to model forward pricing behaviour which is based on the assumption that the same variables influence both the adoption and the quantity decision. This study compares the results from a model specification which models forward pricing behaviour in a single-decision framework with the results from modelling the quantity decision conditional to the adoption decision in a two-step approach. The results suggest that substantially more information is obtained by modelling forward pricing behaviour as two separate decisions rather than a single decision. Such information may be valuable in educational material compiled to educate farmers in the effective use of forward pricing methods in price risk management. Modelling forward pricing behaviour as two separate decisions is thus a more effective means of modelling forward pricing behaviour than modelling it as a single decision.
Price volatility in agriculture is important because of the part it plays in the overall variability in profits. South African farmers have to contend with low profit margins, and price volatility therefore affects agricultural producers in South Africa to a considerable degree. The autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity/generalised autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity (ARCH/GARCH) approach is used to quantify the volatility in the price of the July white maize futures contracts that trade on the South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX). Volatility tends to increase from December through the early part of May, which makes the timing of marketing decisions important. As a second sub-objective, linear regression is used to identify the factors that cause changes in volatility over time. The release of new information on local and international growing conditions is found to increase the level of volatility in the price of the July white maize contract. Maize producers should therefore take the release of important information into account when developing their marketing plans for the coming marketing season. The usefulness of put options as a price risk management tool is highlighted by the results of this research.
Henry Jordaan participated at conference The 5th World Sustainability Forum.