Full Length Research Paper
Crops production subsector depends on various factors including natural factors as well as non-natural factors. Meanwhile, in vast areas of Tanzania including the Mbeya Region, rice farmers struggle to make their living through rice farming regardless of various challenges with which the subsector is crumbled. This study aimed at assessing the factors influencing the performance of rice farming in the Mbeya Region of Tanzania. Multi-stage sampling technique was applied to obtain representative samples. Data was collected from a field survey of 240 small-scale farmers by the use of questionnaires from January to March 2018. Descriptive statistics method was used to analyze the data and the Ordinary Least Square regression model was used to estimate parameters. The results indicate excess rainfall and droughts events significantly influenced rice production negatively by reducing 3 and 5% for each occurrence, respectively. Marital status and gender significantly influenced positively rice production in the study area. Other influential production factors including market price lag, pest and diseases, and farm size were statistically significant in rice production. The study recommends possible interventions such as increased accessibility to extension services, agricultural financial services, improved seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides to mention a few by government and other responsible institutions which hamper the growth of the rice industry to increase food security to the farming populace.
Key words: Rice, performance, factors, regression, Tanzania.
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