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|Title: ||Modelling land use decisions of smallholder farmers in Tonga for agricultural policy and planning|
|Author: ||Fakava, Viliami T.|
|Degree: ||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Institution: ||Lincoln University|
|Date: ||2000 |
|Item Type: ||Thesis|
|Abstract: ||The main objective of the study was to develop an understanding of Tongan smallholder farmers' decision making regarding the utilisation of their limited land resources. This enables assisting planners and policy makers in their assessment and evaluation of government policy measures. A secondary, but associated objective was to analyse and describe the Tongan household farming system and aspects of the goals, priorities, and constraints that influence the decisions. The objective was to be more realistic than past studies by improving the ways in which social and cultural values, beliefs, attitudes, and intentions can be incorporated. In particular, the multiple goals and preferences of Tongan smallholders, and behaviour related to non-economic goals such as socio-cultural and church obligations, were incorporated.
Some insight is provided into the physical, economic, and social environment of the farming systems. Using a systems research framework, the dynamics of the smallholder farming system, its structure, decision making processes and the environment within which decisions are made, were explored. A cohesive conceptual framework for linking social, cultural and psychological processes to land use decisions was developed and allowed the development of a goal programming (GP) model to portray the decision-making process of three main farm types of Tongan smallholder farmers (progressive, emergent and marginal). This involved identifying and quantifying the resources, objectives, constraints and the many demands on the farmers' available time and limited resources that influence decision-making. In addition, three agro-ecological zones were identified and a total of eight representative models developed to describe the different farm situations.
The models were subjected to validation and verification before being used to explore the effects of a number of agricultural policies. It was concluded that the models, as developed, were effective as policy analysis tools and adequate for modelling the different farm types and different agro-ecological zones which characterise Tongan agriculture. Particular attention was paid to government policies which might facilitate the successful implementation of a development strategy for increasing productivity. The main instruments explored included (a) regulations on farm size and tenure security, (b) investment in agricultural research and extension for generating improved technology, (c) market and institutional supports for market prices (changes in market prices as well as market avenue), and credit policies, and (d) influencing farmer's goals and priorities.
The result of this research clearly shows that the production plans are determined not only by the resources available, the technology and the institutional constraints, but also by the preferences and importance attached to the farmers' objectives and goals. Modelling experiments for different policies concluded that feasible policy options do exist and these should help to improve the performance of the agricultural sector in Tonga and of the smallholders in particular. The results suggest the key areas for the Government to address in enhancing agricultural growth. These include (a) facilitating access to land under a secure tenure, (b) orienting the national agricultural research program towards more adaptive research, (c) improving the marketing system, (d) improving the skills and motivation of smallholders through education, training, and incentives, and (e) encouraging the development of farmers' groups.|
|Supervisor: ||Nuthall, Peter|
|Persistent URL (URI): ||http://hdl.handle.net/10182/3281|
|Appears in Collections:||Department of Agricultural Management and Property Studies|
Doctoral (PhD) Theses
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