Econometric Trend and Forecasting Production, Area, and Yield of Cereals in Eswatini: 1961-2018
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.
NAJ supports free online communication and exchange of knowledge as the most effective way of ensuring that the fruits of research and development practice are made widely available. It is therefore committed to open access, which, for authors, enables the widest possible dissemination of their findings and, for readers, increases their ability to discover pertinent information. The Journal adopts and uses the CC: BY license and is open access. This license lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the Journal’s published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Copyright for articles published in this Journal is retained by the Journal.