level of knowledge and its application by coffee farmers in the udeen

Al-Zaidi et al.,
The Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences, 26(6): 2016,
Page:
1797-1804
The
J. Anim.
Plant Sci. 26(6):2016
ISSN: 1018-7081
LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE AND ITS APPLICATION BY COFFEE FARMERS IN THE
UDEEN AREA, GOVERNORATE OF IBB - REPUBLIC OF YEMEN
Abdullah A. Al-Zaidi, Mirza B. Baig, Mohammad Y. Shalaby and Abdulwahaab Hazber
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Society, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences
King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Corresponding Author Email: mbbaig@ksu.edu.sa
ABSTRACT
This study estimated the knowledge and its application by coffee farmers in Udeen, lbb Governorate, Yemen. A total of
200 farmers, representing 86% of the coffee farmers, were interviewed using a questionnaire. Percentages, arithmetic
means, standard deviations, and Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated. Approximately 51% of respondents had
low and 6.5% had high levels of knowledge, and 49% of the respondents showed low and 12.5% respondents exhibited
high knowledge application rates. Positive correlations were found between the degrees of knowledge and its
application, educational qualifications, land tenure, area under coffee cultivation, extension service satisfaction, and
exposure to sources of information (P ≤ 0.01). However, there was a negative relationship for the age of the respondent
and type of tenure (P ≤ 0.01). There was no significant relationship for the number of family members, occupation, other
agricultural activities, annual income from the coffee crop, and full-time agricultural work. The results suggest a need to
increase extension activities to bridge the knowledge gap and improve application rates. Agricultural programs need to
be developed for the coffee growers. Finally, agricultural extension programs through television and radio could raise the
awareness of the importance of coffee in Yemen.
Key words: Coffee production, Constraints, Extension education, Radio and TV programs, Entrepreneurship.
in the republic (New Agriculturist, 2010). However, an
estimated 33,260 ha, covering slopes and terraces on high
ground (700-2400 m above sea level) and most of the
valleys with wet and warm climates, have been allocated
for milk production in addition to farm crops (NASS,
2012).
Traditionally, the country produced premium
quality coffee and its cultivation has been crucially
important for centuries (IFAD, 2010). However, today it
has been replaced with a plant named “Qat,” which has
become the main cash crop. Qat (Catha edulis) is a mild
stimulant chewed by about 70% of the males in the
country (MAI & FAO, 2008; NASS, 2012; GAFSP,
2013).
Today, Yemeni coffee is harvested from ancient
types of Coffea arabica, which is grown in areas such as
Bani Matar, Haraz, internal and external Alehimtin, Bani
Hammad, and Udeen. Since the crop has evolved locally
over centuries, most of the varieties are not grown
anywhere else in the world. In Yemen, different coffee
varieties are known by their local names, but they still
share some common features and characteristics.
However, the taste may vary and the beans often differ in
their appearance. In many cases, varieties have never
been systematically identified, characterized, or
documented. Usually, they are identified primarily by the
region in which they are grown, which is why the names
of the local coffee varieties in Yemen are irregular
(Giovannucci, 2005).
INTRODUCTION
The agricultural sector remains one of the most
productive components of the Yemeni national economy.
Other key sectors also depend upon agriculture as it
supplies many goods, food items, and raw materials to
these industries. Agriculture ensures food security, helps
improve the trade balance, and strengthens integrated
rural development efforts. In addition, the agriculture
sector helps stabilize the population by reducing internal
migration and its interrelated social and economic
problems (NASS, 2012). The agriculture sector is a
cornerstone of the economy and makes a substantial
contribution (17.5%) toward GDP (Central Statistics
Office, NASS, 2012). Between 2000 and 2005, it was a
source of income for about 74% of the population
(Yemen’s Development Plan for Poverty Reduction,
2006–2010), and it sustains nearly 2 million workers and
employs nearly 53% of the total workforce in the country
(IFAD, 2010; Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation
2010). In the past, Yemen was reasonably self-sufficient
in cereal crops; however, because of several constraints,
it now imports over 75% of the population’s food
requirements. Approximately 75% of the population still
lives in rural areas (FSIS, 2015), and they meet their food
requirements from as little as 3% of the arable land
(IFAD, 2010). Agricultural crops cover an area of around
1.20 million ha (82.7% of the total area). Sorghum,
maize, millet, and pulses are the main food crops grown
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Yemeni coffee is sold under different names,
based on the areas where it is grown. Most scientists
agree that there are four main varieties: Udaini, Dawairi,
Tufahi, and Bura’ai. According to the survey and
classification by Qaid (1993), most of the Yemeni coffee
plants comprise of these four main varieties. However,
the Coffee Research Unit established by the Ministry of
Agriculture based in Taiz region, suggests there may be a
potential fifth basic variety called Abu Sura. In 2004, AlHakimi and Allard (2005) reported that Yemen has six
main varieties. However, many of the local types closely
resemble the Udaini variety, which suggests that this
variety could be the oldest coffee landrace in Yemen.
However, Al-Monitor (2014) noted that the most famous
types of coffee are Mattari, Yafei, Haimi, Hirazi, Ismaili,
Ahjuri, Mahweet, Buraai, Hammadi, Raimi, Wasabi,
Anisi, Odaini, Sabri, and Saadi.
Coffee is grown in valleys, where the climate is
warm and wet, and on mountain terraces at altitudes
ranging between 700 and 2,400 m. IFAD, (2010)
maintains that around one million Yemenis work in
coffee production. USAID (2005) noted despite Yemen
employs traditional methods, centuries old verities and
the water shortage, yet it manages to produce good
quality coffee (Coffea Arabica)
About 100,000 rural smallholders are engaged in
coffee production, representing 9.0% of all farming
households (IFAD, 2012). According to USAID, 2005,
about 99,056 farmers in the 14 governorates of the
Republic, including Ibb, grow about 15,101,903 million
coffee trees. The Ibb governorate is ranked at 10 and
cultivates 361,059 trees representing 2.39% of the total
number of plantations in Yemen (Statistics and the
Ministry of Agriculture, 2012).
Yemeni coffee is renowned worldwide for its
excellent quality and has been ranked second only to
Jamaica Blue Mountain (FAOSTAT, 2012). It, therefore,
is sold at prices higher than that of coffee from other
countries. Yemini coffee enjoys a highly lucrative market
by fetching double the price for the same quality produce
imported from Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Kenya.
Approximately 11 countries regularly import green coffee
beans from Yemen. Present Yemeni coffee exports vary
from 4,000 to 6,000 MT/year and are valued at about
USD 20 million, but this has decreased from 12,000
MT/year in the 1950’s (IFAD, 2012).
Coffee production in Yemen reached about
19,000 MT in 2012, which is unassertive compared to
that of other coffee producing countries. Yemen produced
14,000 and 11,000 MT in 2009 and 2004, respectively,
despite all the obstacles limiting the production and trade
in Yemeni coffee. The coffee is exported to the Gulf
States, Japan, United States, Canada, Russia, France,
Italy, Denmark, Germany, Turkey, and India (Ministry of
Agriculture and Irrigation, 2012).
Today, coffee is grown in almost all regions of
the country (Al-monitor, 2014), and in the past, Yemen
was one of the leading coffee producing nations.
However, today it has lost its prime position in terms of
global quality, but in terms of volume, Yemen still
occupies the first place at the global level by producing
up to 21% of the total global production. Among the
other major coffee producing countries, Colombia,
Ethiopia, and Uganda occupy prominent positions by
producing 12%, 4.4%, and 4% of the world’s production,
respectively. In Asia, Indonesia contributes to about
5.4%, followed by Vietnam at 4.6%, and India at about
3.7% of the total global production (Al-Shehri, 2011).
Several factors have been identified as being
responsible for the sharp decline in coffee production and
its subsequent export in the Republic of Yemen. The
most important are (i) irregular water supply and/or
drought to which coffee trees are highly sensitive; (ii)
insufficient strategic focus and investment across the
value chain; (iii) limited research and extension for coffee
farmers; (iv) absence of transparent marketing systems;
(v) breakdown of the standardization system; and (vi)
lack of branding. These problems and constraints alone or
in combination have resulted in low productivity and
reduced revenues. However, the most important factor
could be lack of knowledge and its application and the
use of traditional cultivation techniques and production
technologies. Al-monitor (2014) notes that despite the
obstacles associated with coffee production, Yemen can
regain its export position.
Kashtah (2012) maintains that the aim of
agricultural extension is to help farmers understand and
apply new agricultural techniques and appropriate
technologies by bringing desired behavioral changes.
Extension education helps farmers to adopt appropriate
methods through guidance programs that aim to help
farmers gain new knowledge and to achieve practical
change. However, Swanson et al. (1998) are of the
opinion that the Agricultural Extension Policy should be
part of the national development policy in general and
agricultural and rural development policy in particular.
Similarly, Jones (1986) believes that agricultural
extension remains an integral part of agricultural
development.
Information sources in enhancing farmers’
knowledge in general and coffee farmers’ in particular
are considered to be extremely important. Badawi and
Saad Eddin (2006) reported that radio programs
positively enhanced respondents’ knowledge about coffee
production. The respondents in their study believed that
radio programs held “great promise” as a source of
agricultural knowledge about coffee crops. Similarly,
Abbas (2007) reported that higher level of contact that
the farmers had with extension programs resulted in
higher level of knowledge, which was then reflected at
the social and economic level.
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The study by Bailly (1971) showed that media
sources have an important role in providing essential and
timely information to farmers. It revealed that
respondents using media sources had high awareness
levels. Similarly, Shaibah (1994) reported that
approximately 55% respondents believed that extension
TV programs are one of the most important sources of
agricultural knowledge and information. However, there
is a need to assess the role of radio and TV extension
programs in enhancing farmers’ knowledge. This study
aimed to evaluate the knowledge and application levels of
farmers in the coffee area of Udeen in the Republic of
Yemen.
The findings of this study could help decision
makers to develop outreach programs for farmers in the
study area and inform further, similar studies in other
parts of Yemen. In addition, the study could help restore
the agricultural status of the region and improve the
coffee production process in the republic so that it
remains a world leader in coffee production.
1.
2.
3.
To identify the cognitive level of the agricultural
operations undertaken by the coffee crop growers in
Udeen.
To determine how well the knowledge on new
agricultural technical operations related to coffee
production had been implemented by the
respondents in the study area.
To study the nature of the correlation between
various independent variables and a dependent
variable which has been defined as the degree of
knowledge held by farmers and its effect on
agricultural operations.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The study area: The study was conducted in Udeen area,
located in the south-west of the province of Ibb, Republic
of Yemen (Fig. 1). Agriculture is the main activity of the
population; and coffee is one of the most important crops
produced in Udeen area. Other crops grown include
maize, sorghum, sugar cane, and fruit (bananas, mango,
tamarind, and guava). Agricultural environments contain
fertile soils, relatively high rainfall rates, and sufficient
water for cultivation (Central Annual Statistics, 2010).
Objectives of the study: The objectives of the study
were as follows:
Figure 1: The study area
The study sample: The study included all the 230 coffee
farmers in study area listed with the Ministry of
Agriculture and Irrigation. Data were collected from 200
farmers, representing some 86% of the total number of
farmers after excluding 30 incomplete questionnaires.
the questionnaire was tested for its validity and reliability
on 30 farmers who were not part of the study sample. The
primary data were collected by using the study
questionnaires during personal face-to-face interviews.
Data analysis: The data analysis process included
reviewing and coding, and data tabulation processes. A
number of statistical methods were employed by using
SPSS 17 to analyze and describe the results. Frequency,
percentages, arithmetic means, and standard deviations
Data collection: The Faculty at the Department of
Agricultural Extension and Rural Society at the King
Saud University (KSU) helped produce a simple to
understand questionnaire. Before conducting the study,
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were used to identify the personal, social, and economic
characteristics of the respondents. Simple Pearson
correlation coefficients were used to identify the nature of
the correlation between variables and the coefficient of
multiple regression (step-wise) was used to determine the
degree of change in the dependent variable.
order to reduce their knowledge gap, which, in turn, will
have a positive impact on the production of this crop.
This will contribute directly or indirectly to increased
farm incomes, improve the livelihoods of coffee growers,
and elevate national income levels.
Table 1. The distribution of farmers according to
their levels of agricultural knowledge
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Knowledge Level
Low (0 < 15)
Average (15–29.99)
High (> 30)
Total
Level of knowledge about agricultural operations
possessed by coffee crop growers in Udeen: In order to
explore the agricultural knowledge possessed by the
farmers, a survey was undertaken to determine what the
agricultural operational knowledge levels were amongst
coffee growers in Udeen. The results showed that the
operational knowledge levels, expressed in degrees,
ranged between 0 and 46 with a mean of 13.3 and a
standard deviation of 12.2. The distribution of
respondents according their level of knowledge is shown
in Table 1. The study revealed that that 51% of the
respondents’ knowledge levels were low, 42.5% had an
average level of knowledge, and 6.5% of respondents had
a high level of knowledge. Therefore, 93.5% of the total
respondents had knowledge levels that ranged between
low and medium and this could be a possible cause of the
decline in the coffee production in the study area and the
lowered rank at the international level. Furthermore,
these findings suggest that it is important that outreach
programs be directed toward this group of farmers in
Number
102
85
13
200
Percentage %
5.0
42.5
6.5
100
The agricultural knowledge level of farmers and its
application to coffee crop production: The answers
from the respondents to each question about their
knowledge level are shown in Table 2 in descending
order, according to the arithmetic average for each
question.
Table 2 confirms that overall, respondents have
a generally low knowledge level. The study revealed that
the arithmetic average used to measure the cognitive level
ranges was 1.62 degrees for the questions concerning
agricultural varieties that suit the region and 1.34 degrees
for the types of pesticides used when storing the coffee
beans.
Table 2. The knowledge level of the farmers and its application to coffee crop production
Agricultural knowledge
Agricultural varieties that suit the region
Appropriate distance between coffee trees
Types of fertilizer suitable for coffee trees
Appropriate timings to fertilize the coffee trees
Land tillage planning
Appropriate time for planting
Quality of soil suitable for coffee cultivation
Appropriate deadlines for irrigating coffee trees
Effects resulting from the lack of fertilizer
The amount of water required for coffee trees
Signs of excessive water application
Signs of lack of water
Effects produced by the excessive use of fertilizers
Pests of coffee trees
The best time to use the pesticides
Choosing the right time to harvest the coffee beans
Weeding dates for coffee trees
Types of pests that are resistant to pesticides
Diseases that affect coffee trees
Better drying, grading, and storing methods for coffee beans after harvest
Methods for packaging and marketing coffee beans
Types of pesticides that can be used when storing coffee beans
1800
High
%
5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
3.5
3.5
3.5
3.5
3.5
4.5
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
Knowledge Level
Average
Weak
%
%
52
43
51.5
44
51.5
44
50.5
45
51
44.5
51
45.5
50
44.5
49.5
44.5
43.5
53
43.5
53
42
54.5
41.5
55
41
55.5
35
60.5
34
63
32.5
64.5
33.5
63.5
33
64
32.5
64.5
33
64
28.5
68.5
27.5
69.5
Average
Arithmetic
Mean
1.62
1.61
1.61
1.61
1.60
1.59
1.59
1.59
1.59
1.51
1.49
1.49
1.48
1.48
1.44
1.39
1.40
1.39
1.39
1.39
1.35
1.34
Al-Zaidi et al.,
The J. Anim. Plant Sci. 26(6):2016
Table 2 emphasizes the urgent need to develop extension
programs that focus on these subjects in order to raise the
level of knowledge about improving the cultivation
management and storage of the coffee crop, which will
reflect positively on the quality of the crop and production
levels. This, in turn, will contribute to improving the lives
of working families in this area and increase Yemeni
exports and national income.
The degree to which agricultural technical operations
that improve coffee crop production are implemented:
The distribution of the respondents according to numeric
values that represent the degree to which they have
applied new agricultural operations is presented in Table
3. The results showed that the levels of agricultural
knowledge about new applications ranged between 0 and
46 degrees, with a mean of 14.4, and a standard deviation
of 13.7.
The study revealed that about 49% of the respondents had
low degree of knowledge about applying agricultural
operations; 38.5% had an average degree of knowledge,
and 12.5% of respondents had a high degree of
knowledge about applying agricultural operations.
Table 3. The distribution of the farmers according to the degree to which they applied agricultural operations
Application degree
Low (0–14.99) degrees
Medium (15–30) degrees
High > 30 degrees
Total
Number
98
77
25
200
Table 3 shows that 87.5% of the respondents were
classified as between low and medium for application of
new agricultural operations. This suggested that there was
a low level of knowledge about applying agricultural
operations, which could contribute to the low coffee crop
production figures and reduce Yemen’s position in the
world rankings. The results suggest that there should be
extension training programs for the farmers to create
awareness, upgrade their skill levels, and help them
overcome the reasons that are preventing them from
applying better agricultural operations. There is a need to
identify the reasons that are directly and indirectly
causing a decline in the coffee crop productivity in terms
of quantity and quality, which has led to Yemen losing
international trade.
Distribution according to how well farmers applied
their knowledge to agricultural operations: The degree
to which farmers applied their knowledge to agricultural
operations is listed in Table 4 and shows a low
implementation by the respondents of new applications to
agricultural operations. According to the average mean
for each process, the arithmetic average range was 1.63
degrees for some agricultural operations, such as ground
preparation and planning for agriculture, shading
seedlings from the sun, and protecting seedlings from
animals. The range was 1.34 degrees for the use of
pesticides from their own stores. The results suggest that
respondents’ commitment to implementing some of these
agricultural operations could adversely affect the
production rates per unit area, which may have caused the
decline in production levels in Yemen over the past years
in terms of quantity and quality. This may have lowered
Yemen’s global rank, because the product was unable to
compete with that of the other coffee producers with
regard to the quality standard that the country had
Percentage
49
38.5
12.5
100
achieved previously (IFAD, 2012). The results indicate
the importance of role extension to help respondents
overcome this shortcoming. They also suggest that
extension programs need to be activated and pilot efforts
should be intensified in this area.
Relationship between independent variables and the
degrees of knowledge and its application to
agricultural operations when it is defined as the
dependent variable: To achieve the objective of the
study, it was appropriate to study the correlation between
degree of knowledge and the level to which it is applied
to agricultural operations by the respondents and all the
independent variables.
Table 5 shows that there was a positive and
significant correlation at the P ≤ 0.01 probability level
between the levels of knowledge and its application, and
educational qualification, land tenure, area cultivated with
coffee, satisfaction with the extension service, and the
degree of exposure to sources of information, in particular
TV and radio. This means that these independent
variables increase the respondents’ knowledge and
application levels. Baig and Aldosari (2013) highlighted
the importance of Radio and TV and their role in
disseminating the information for the farmers. However,
they advised not to use radio as the medium to broadcast
complex agricultural information.
There were negative correlations at the P ≤ 0.01
level between the dependent variable and the age of the
respondent and the type of tenure. This means that the
older the respondent: the lower the degree of knowledge
and its application level. This could be due to strong
adherences to old, traditional knowledge because older
farmers are less exposed to reliable sources of
information. The negative affect of type of land
ownership held by the respondent may be an indication of
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The J. Anim. Plant Sci. 26(6):2016
a lack of full-time agricultural labor and a reliance on
family labor, or that the leasing arrangements make new
knowledge
and
applications
less
accessible.
Table 4. The degree to which agricultural operations are applied in the study area
Agricultural Operations
Land operations and planning for cultivation
Shading seedlings from the sun and protection from animals
Hole dimensions when planting seedlings
Procedures in the nursery
Application of fertilizers to the coffee trees
Storing seeds
Seed treatments
Planting coffee trees in the soil
Making tubes for the coffee trees
Seed selection
Transfer of coffee trees
Maintenance and rebuilding of agricultural terraces
Maintenance of irrigation channels among the coffee trees
Coffee harvest stages
The use of irrigation networks between coffee trees
Coffee tree propagation operations
Resistance to diseases
The use of pesticide spraying machines
Methods of mechanical control of pests in coffee storage rooms
Storing the crop after drying
Dealing with the crop after harvest in the best possible manner
Dealing with crop storage pests
Use of pesticides
Age
Number of family members
Educational qualifications
Basic profession
Total area of farm
Cultivated coffee area
Farm holding type
Other agricultural activities
Annual income of the coffee
crop
Full-time farm work
Satisfaction
with
the
extension services in the
region
Degree of exposure to
sources
of
agricultural
information
**
Correlation
coefficient
–0.347
–0.070
0.196
–0.044
0.232
0.186
–0.237
–0.008
0.065
Level of
coefficient
0.026
0.287
--
0.470
**
Arithmetic
Mean
1.63
1.63
1.63
1.63
1.63
1.63
1.62
1.62
1.62
1.62
1.62
1.60
1.48
1.46
1.45
1.44
1.44
1.43
1.43
1.42
1.40
1.38
1.34
The findings clearly suggested that factors such
as a lack of knowledge and, therefore, its application to
agricultural operations in the study area were responsible
for a decline in production and farm incomes.
Consequently, these declines have negatively affected the
livelihoods at the family level and have reduced Yemeni
national income. Currently, Yemeni coffee has a low
quality rank because it is not certified and is unable to
meet international standards and compete with global
competitors.
Table 5. The correlations between the personal
economic and social characteristics of the
farmers as independent variables
Independent variables
Degree of Application
High
Average
Weak
%
%
%
4.5
53.5
42.0
5.0
53.0
42.0
5.5
52.0
42.5
4.0
54.5
41.5
5.0
54.5
41.5
4.0
54.5
41.5
4.5
53.0
42.5
5.5
51.0
43.5
4.5
53
42.5
4.5
54
42
5
52
43
3.5
52.5
44
3.5
41
55.5
5
35.5
59.5
2.5
40
57.5
3
38
59.
3
37.5
59.5
3
37
60
3.5
36
60.5
3
36
61
3.5
33
63.5
3
32
63.5
3
28
59
**
-**
-**
Based on the findings of the study, the following
recommendations are made:
1.
The study established the role and need of
agricultural extension for the farmers and training
programs for the agricultural extension workers so
that they can bridge the knowledge gaps among
the coffee growers.
2.
The study findings suggest that agricultural
extension programs should be developed along
with an action plan that identifies their objectives
and addresses the low levels of knowledge
highlighted by the research results. Agricultural
Extension Department should prioritize its
objectives based on the importance and urgency of
the issues faced by the farmers.
**
**
--**
significant at the P ≤ 0.01 level of probability.
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3.
The J. Anim. Plant Sci. 26(6):2016
Television and radio programs should be
developed that could enhance the knowledge
levels and technical skills of the farmers,
particularly the coffee growers. The results suggest
that these are the respondents’ preferred sources of
information and will be of most help raise
awareness on the importance of this strategic crop.
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