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Optimizing Farm Plans: A Case Study of a Rural Farmer in Zimbabwe

Author Affiliations

  • 1Mathematics and Computer Science Department, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, ZIMBABWE
  • 2 Faculty of Science, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, ZIMBABWE
  • 3 Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, ZIMBABWE
  • 4 Department of Agricultural Economics and AGEC, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, ZIMBABWE

Res. J. Management Sci., Volume 2, Issue (6), Pages 32-35, June,6 (2013)


Small scale farmers in rural areas are often faced with the problem of how to allocate resources. Their objective is to maximize income through the best crop combinations subject to resource constraints. These farmers often use traditional methods like trial and error, instinct and experience to solve this problem. This does not guarantee optimal results. In this paper, a linear programming planning model was developed to address the problem. The goal of the objective function was to maximize the gross income subject to land and labor constraints. The linear programming model solved the resource allocation problem. The linear programming problem was solved using Microsoft Excel (2007) a computer application software package and the results obtained were tabled. The optimal plan was developed for a farmer without restrictions on capital. The results obtained by the use of the linear programming model were compared with the results obtained from existing farm plans. The land allocation criteria obtained by using the linear programming model yielded more income than from traditional methods often used by rural farmers to handle the resource allocation problem. The income difference is 100.15%.


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