Concept and Metrics of Agricultural Diversification

Concept and Metrics of Agricultural Diversification

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7934-2.ch002

Abstract

This chapter presents some comparative analysis on agricultural diversification at the national and individual enterprise levels illustrating that although a country or region may have optimum diversification it may not translate into optimum diversification at the enterprise level to the disadvantage of farmers causing the national diversification to be unsustainable. This finding may strengthen the justification for an expanded model at the enterprise level to include integration of various aspects of production, such as crops, livestock, aquaculture, and soil and livestock feed production. The remaining chapters will identify and describe the various aspects and characteristics of the farm model from a practical perspective of an individual farm enterprise utilizing the model and demonstrating how to optimize farm waste to approach a zero waste scenario so that it can be instructive for various levels of uptake, including the individual farm enterprise level.
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National Agricultural Diversification In St. Kitts

This section gives an insight of the general economic environment and the role that agriculture plays in the economy. First is the GDP trend from 1986 to 2003. Second is the absolute contribution of the agricultural sector in general to the Gross National Product (GDP) of St. Kitts. Third, and finally, is the relative contribution of agriculture to GDP, expressed as a percentage of Agriculture to GDP. These visual impressions of the macro-environment form the backdrop for presenting the index of agricultural diversification in St. Kitts. This chapter then examines the factors that may influence agricultural diversification at the national level in St. Kitts. Please note that the data are provided by the St. Kitts Planning Unit – Statistics for the years 1986-2003. The data to compute the diversification index go back only to 1986, and therefore the data selected by this research for the other variables, although available for earlier years, are limited to those years only to facilitate analysis. The first set of objectives relates to the macro-economic factors influencing agricultural diversification of the island, St. Kitts, generally.

  • To examine the influence of per capita income, government expenditures in agriculture, and shift in the various economic sectors on agricultural diversification

  • To examine the characteristics of the institutional framework responsible for executing the plan and providing support to farmers

  • To examine the stated criteria for performance and determine their appropriateness.

More specifically, the second set of objectives relates to the micro-economic environment and its influence on agricultural diversification at the individual enterprise level.

  • To examine the characteristics of the target population of farmers, i.e. farm and farmer characteristics, and the attitude of farmers towards diversification

  • To develop a policy framework and formulate implementation strategies with feedback mechanisms for agricultural diversification, with the consideration of what goes on “on the ground.”

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