Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies


The economic development of Africa is a major challenge in the modern world. The predominantly agricultural society suffers from food shortages, basic commodity scarcities, and the lack of services. Ninety percent of the population lives on farms. Therefore, agriculture is still the key factor for economic development in most of Africa. This research examines areas affecting the design and implementation of agricultural development programs. Specifically, objectives of the study were: (1) To describe the system of agricultural production within which small farmer household units live and work in northern Shaba, Zaire. (2) To examine the decision making roles within the small farmer households of northern Shaba, Zaire. (3) To determine the extent of adoption of an improved maize variety in northern Shaba, Zaire, and determine characteristics which allow classification of the sample into adopter and nonadopter groups;The research was conducted in Kongoy, Shaba, Zaire. One hundred households registered as farming at least one hectare were randomly selected from census data. Data were collected from 255 adult members during February and March, 1980;A case study of small farmers in the northern portion of Shaba province was presented. Examination of the subsistence farming system and production patterns revealed the complex physical and biological conditions the farmer deals with. Division of labor and perception of major constraints to production were investigated;Decision making roles were examined. Agronomic decisions are, for the most part, made by the head of the household. However, decisions dealing with how agricultural produce is disposed of are made by the women of the household. There was no difference in these roles between those families headed by females and those with male heads. There is little evidence that decision making is delegated along male/female lines, but rather is the responsibility of the household head--be it male or female;The adoption of an agricultural innovation was analyzed. The decision to adopt an improved variety maize was generally made by the head of the household. Discriminant analysis was used to identify the characteristics used to classify the sample into adopter and nonadopter categories. The cases in the sample were classified into adopter and nonadopter groups with an 85 percent accuracy by using the unstandardized function coefficients in the equation derived through discriminant analysis.



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Terry Lee Hardt



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123 pages