An investigation of the supply chain challenges faced by small scale crop farmers at Etunda Irrigation Farm in Namibia.
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The investigation of the supply chain challenges faced by small scale farmers at Etunda irrigation farm is the core of this study. The main rationale for the investigation is the fact that Green Scheme projects, of which Etunda is one of them, is one of the key economic development and diversification focus areas highlighted in Namibia’s fourth national development plan (NDP_4). The farming operations at Etunda are heavily dependent on logistical services for production inputs and post-harvest and marketing activities. The Government of the Republic of Namibia continues to make tremendous investment in the Green Scheme’s production, logistics and marketing infrastructure, yet, the small scale farmers are struggling to transform from subsistence to fully commercial farming practices. This study found that the high cost of inputs, lack of inputs, limited flow of inputs, lack of suitable storage facilities and transportation services, lack of market access, lack of management skills, and lack of training are the main supply chain challenges faced by small scale farmers at Etunda irrigation farm. The findings are of qualitative nature and thus not meant to provide the quantifiable results which can be better attained by a qualitative study or else the combination of both qualitative and quantitative studies. Nevertheless, the study addresses the key research objective which is simply to identify the supply chain challenges as observed and experienced by the stakeholders. Furthermore, it emerged that, the effects of these challenges transcend down the food chain and therefore should not be addressed in isolation because they are of a supply chain nature. The case-study research method backed up by semi-structured interviews were used to gather the empirical data in the Etunda supply chain.
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