Econometric Trend and Forecasting Production, Area, and Yield of Cereals in Eswatini: 1961-2018

  • J. O. Ajetomobi
  • O. A. Olaleye
  • S. G. Dlamini
Keywords: Forecast, Production, Area, Yield, ARIMA, Eswatini


Cereals constitute more than 60% of total food production and caloric intake of a typical household in Eswatini.  A key agenda of the country within the context of her Vision 2030 agenda is to raise the productivity and livelihood of the nation’s smallholder farmers. This study therefore examined the historical trend in the production, area, and yields of cereals in the country between 1961 and 2018 and forecast the variables up to 2030. The forecast methods employed include mean, naïve, exponential smoothing, and autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA). Based on various forecast accuracy techniques, ARIMA model outperformed the other alternatives for all the crops. Based on the estimates of the ARIMA models, the production, area, and yield of most of the crops are expected to decline by 2030.  The forecast shows that the production of maize will decline by 2.73% in 2030 when compared with its 2018 value of 91247 tons. The 2018 maize area of 78535 hectares is predicted to decrease by 9.06% in 2030.  Maize yield in 2022 is predicted to be 1.16 tons/hectare. This is still far below the national target of 2 tons/hectare by 2030.  The forecast indicates that the area allocated to sorghum production will decline by about 36%, but the production will remain largely unchanged due to slight increase in yield. Rice production and yield are predicted to remain unchanged. It is interesting to note that the yield of rice in the country is more than 2 tons per hectare.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0300-368X